Teams: Xavier (17-7; 7-4) vs. Marquette (14-10; 6-5)
Day: Saturday, February 15
Time: 4:00 PM ET Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
TV: FOX Sports 1
About Xavier: The Xavier Musketeers defeated the Butler Bulldogs with the help of their outstanding defense to continue their winning ways. The Musketeers held the Bulldogs to just 28.0 percent from the perimeter, and Dee Davis did not allow Kellen Dunham to make any three-pointers, locking him down for just two points all night.
Davis also had a good game offensively, notching three three-pointers and nine assists. Overall, Xavier had a balanced offense with nine different players scoring in the contest. The one disappointing part of this for Xavier was the performance of Matt Stainbrook. The junior center had five turnovers in the game and only scored six points.
About Marquette: Jamil Wilson scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds leading Marquette over Seton Hall. The senior Davante Gardner added 16 points and six rebounds of his own in the win in Newark. Marquette’s free throws were important in the game, as the Golden Eagles converted on 30 of 34 opportunities. While the Golden Eagles had a lower field goal percentage than The Hall, they were able to rebound and cash in on second chance opportunities.
Two Keys to the Game:
- Xavier’s defense
Xavier’s defense was excellent against Butler, holding the Bulldog to 28% from the three, forcing them to commit nine turnovers, and overall limiting a Butler team that usually scores around 70 points a game to 50 points.
- Marquette's hustle plays
Jamil Wilson emphasized after the game the importance of hustle points which are on loose balls, charges, offensive rebounds, and more. These plays were the key to Marquette’s win, rebounding and scoring many times off of second chance points. With their offense not nearly as efficient as they would like to be, collecting more hustle points is going to have to be a factor in this upcoming contest.
Prediction: Xavier 75, Marquette 70