CINCINNATI – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Marquette came back from an 11-point deficit with 14 minutes remaining to take an 87-82 decision at Xavier Saturday afternoon at a sold-out Cintas Center. The win extended the Marquette winning streak to seven games as the Golden Eagles improved to 18-3 overall and 7-1 in league play.
Marquette got 72 points from the trio of Markus Howard (31 points), Joey Hauser (21) and Sam Hauser (20). Xavier, which fell to 11-10 overall and 3-5 in the league, was led by 21-point efforts from Tyrique Jones and Paul Scruggs. Jones also grabbed 11 rebounds to produce his sixth double-double of the season.
Most of the team totals in the box score were about even. The biggest difference was Marquette’s 14-of-25 shooting from 3-point range while Xavier shot 8-of-18 from beyond the arc.
With Saturday’s result, home teams hold only a 19-16 edge in conference play with 17 of the 35 conference games decided by six points or less.
Sunday’s schedule shows three games. The FOX broadcast network has a doubleheader with St. John’s hosting Georgetown at Madison Square Garden at noon ET followed by Seton Hall at No. 18 Villanova at Wells Fargo Center at 2 p.m. Also, DePaul plays at Providence at noon on FS1.
In the first meeting, St. John’s beat Georgetown 97-94 in overtime on Jan. 5 behind Shamorie Ponds’ 37 points. St. John’s goes into Sunday’s matchup leading the league in turnover margin at +4.8. In league games, the Hoyas’ Jessie Govan ranks second in scoring (23.0) and first in rebounding (9.8). St. John’s in 3-4 in the standings while the Hoyas are 2-4.
Seton Hall and Villanova have played close games recently in their series with four of the last seven decided by one possession. The Wildcats took both meetings last year, including a 69-68 overtime win at Seton Hall. The Pirates are in a four-way tie for third place with a 3-4 record. Villanova, still unbeaten at 6-0, ranks first in the BIG EAST in scoring defense, allowing 67.4 points per game.
DePaul, another 3-4 team in the standings, is playing the last of three straight games on the road when it battles Providence. The two teams have split their last six meetings. The Blue Demons, 11-7 overall and 3-4 in BIG EAST play, have outrebounded their opponent in every victory. The Friars, who are coming off a 64-62 win at Xavier, are led by Alpha Diallo who leads the team in scoring (16.8) and is first in the league in rebounding (8.4).