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Strong Second Half Powers Xavier Past Marquette

Matt Carlino's absence proved to be too much for the Eagles to overcome as they couldn't seem to get anything going offensively

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier led 28-25 at halftime, but an 8-0 run sparked the Musketeers to a double-digit lead they would never relinquish.

Xavier won the rebounding battle 40-29 and made 11 more free throws, helping it win handily despite both teams shooting below 40 percent.

The Musketeers had four double-digit scorers including forward Trevon Bluett who had 14 points on 5-9 from the field.

Guard J.P. Macura provided 11 points off the bench, but the real boost for Xavier came from the free throw line.

Myles Davis and Matt Stainbrook, despite shooting a combined 5-16 from the field, were both able to crack into double-digits at the line.

The two combined for 13-15 from the line and Xavier made 16-21 as a team.

With Marquette’s leading scorer Matt Carlino out for his second straight game with a concussion, MU struggled to score. Duane Wilson led the Golden Eagles with 12 points and Juan Anderson added 11, but Marquette had only one bench point. MU still only has seven scholarship players, but not being able to get any bench points has been a problem for most of the season.

Xavier (16-9, 7-6 BIG East) is still continuing to fight for a NCAA Tournament birth. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Musketeers as a nine seed in the Louisville region, a positive for fans in Cincinnati.

Xavier has three games coming up against possible and probable NCAA Tournament teams in St. John’s, Butler and Villanova, but all of them are at the Cintas Center.