A combined 64 points from Markus Howard, Sacar Anim and Joey Hauser helped to power the Marquette Golden Eagles to victory.
Marquette picked up their first Big East win of the season in their 70-52 defeat of the Xavier Musketeers on Sunday morning. The win props MU to 12-3 while Xavier dips down to 9-7 as a result of their loss.
Marquette spent exactly 37:22 in the lead in this game, and Xavier spent exactly... zero minutes and zero seconds leading this game. So this was essentially an end-to-end victory for the Golden Eagles. They only spent 2:55 tied up, with just two occurrences in the game in which the score was evened up. Marquette can feel good about that, and can also feel good about a random instance of symmetry that occurred. They led 35-26 after the first half, and then went on to outpace Xavier 35-26 in the final 20 minutes.
While Howard led in points with 26, Anim was perhaps their most productive player. He had 20 while shooting 9-for-14 from the field. He went 8-for-10 on 2-point tries, a boastful performance for sure. He also had seven rebounds, two assists and a steal with no turnovers in 37 minutes. Markus, meanwhile, had those 26 points, had six 3-pointers, led with eight assists, and had four rebounds and a steal. On a downer note, he also coughed up five turnovers.
Joey Hauser was the other MU player, as we mentioned, to collectively put up 64 of their 70 points. Hauser had 18 points, shot 6-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from the free throw line. Joey put up five boards, three assists and had two turnovers in 26 minutes.
The other Marquette players to put up points were Sam Hauser, Ed Morrow and Jamal Cain, who had two points apiece.
We said that Naji Marshall needed to play well for Xavier if they wanted to win. Well, they didn’t, but Naji Marshall absolutely performed well. Marshall scored a team-high 21 points, well above his average in his previous road contests. He shot 7-for-17 from the field, a bit shoddy, and his 0-for-3 mark from 3-point land didn’t help. But he still played ALL forty minutes and had a standout showing, to say the least.
Marshall wasn’t the only player to struggle from long range. Xavier only made one 3-pointer all day on 14 attempts, with the only one coming off the hands of Ryan Welage. It was certainly one of Xavier’s worst outings from 3-point land in recent memory, and does not curb the idea that things are going to turn around soon.
Paul Scruggs was the only other Musketeer to get into double figures. Scruggs scored 17 points and shot 5-for-11 from the field. He had 10 rebounds to give him a double-double and committed no turnovers in 33 minutes. Everyone else who logged minutes had no more than four points.
With their first Big East win under their belts, Marquette now turns to more of the rough week that’s ahead of them. They’ll play the Creighton Bluejays in Omaha next on Wednesday. Xavier, meanwhile, will have to hope for better results on Wednesday also when they face off with the Georgetown Hoyas.