Big East play began Wednesday night, and the Xavier Musketeers and Marquette Golden Eagles got off to a rousing start. Both offenses were expected to put up points in large doses, and they did exactly that. In the end, it was Xavier who proved victorious. The Musketeers edged the Golden Eagles 91-87 to tally their first win of the Big East season.
Trevon Bluiett of course led the way for the Musketeers with 23 points. Four others joined Bluiett in double figures, as J.P. Macura, Tyrique Jones, Naji Marshall and Quentin Goodin scored 15, 12, 11 and 10 respectively. The Musketeers shot 50.8 percent from the field and an astonishing 91.7 percent from the free throw line.
Their counterparts’ would normally be enough to win, but Marquette was unable to keep Xavier down long enough. The Golden Eagles got 31 points out of Andrew Rowsey, one of the conference’s top scorers. Markus Howard finished with 13 points but had a tough go, shooting 6-19 and 19-8 from the 3-point line. Freshman guard Jamal Cain showed out, posting 16 points, and Sam Hauser finished with 12. But their 46.4 percent mark fom the field likely did them in. While they shot 48.6 percent from the field in the second half, Xavier shot the lights out, putting up a mark of 59.3 percent from the floor.
The Musketeers can take solace in winning their Big East road opener. Things will shift now to Cincinnati for Xavier, who hosts the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday. For Marquette, this was simply a hard-luck loss to a great team. They’ll welcome the Georgetown Hoyas to Milwaukee on Saturday as well.