The Xavier Musketeers' winning ways at Cintas Center continue on with a 62-58 win over the Marquette Golden Eagles on Saturday afternoon.
Despite trailing at the half for the third consecutive game, the Musketeers engineered a comeback with the help of Remy Abell and Myles Davis. The tandem combined for 26 points, Davis scoring 14 and Abell scoring 12, and combined to shoot 8-of-13 in the final 20 minutes of the game. This effort was just too much for a Marquette team that is still clamoring for their first true road game victory of the season.
Here's what we learned from this game.
1. Xavier is refusing to be upended at home
Cintas Center has been one of the toughest places to win games for opposing squads for many years. That is still holding true this season, as XU pushed their home record to 10-0 on Saturday with their victory over their Big East adversary from Wisconsin. While Xavier didn't nearly meet their average of 81.44 points per game at home on Saturday afternoon, they were still able to get by with a 1.25 point per possession mark in the second half. MU could not get it going in the waning moments of the ball game, as they misfired on eight of their last 10 field goal attempts, including five bricks in a row to end the game. Life is hard for road teams in the Big East -- unless you're the Butler Bulldogs -- and nowhere is that more apparent than in Cincinnati.
2. Marquette still has a long way to go, but Matt Carlino is certainly impressive
At 10-7, the Marquette Golden Eagles will likely need a Hulk-like effort down the stretch to have any sort of shot of being a threat in March. But, the efforts that they're getting from Matt Carlino are proving why he was generating so much hype from when he decided to transfer from BYU last offseason. Carlino nabbed 27 points and was a superb 6-of-9 from downtown on Saturday afternoon. This is the second time this season Carlino has scored 20 points or more, with his 38-point effort against Georgia Tech on Thanksgiving now getting some company. It's also the twelfth time he's found himself in double figures this season. Carlino might not have anything to show for it by the end of the year, but his effectiveness has been a big reason why Marquette has been in just about every game that they've played this season.
3. We still don't know a heck of a lot about these two teams
Xavier winning at home and Marquette losing on the road aren't all too surprising developments. That's the way it's been for this entire season and neither team has been able to show an indication that the opposite can happen. MU was in this game at the end, but got cold inside the hostile environment and could not convert on their buckets. The Musketeers were sluggish to start, perhaps because of the Noon tipoff, but rallied their way to victory to maintain their dominance at home. Sure enough, both of these teams, in their next game, will be able to see if they can change their complexions, as Marquette will travel to take on St. John's, while Xavier will be going to The Dunk to take on the Providence Friars. If either team wants to make a move in conference, the time is now to do it.