Marquette (9-6) at Xavier (12-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cintas Center (10,250) -- Cincinnati, Ohio.
Television: FS1. Home Record: Marquette 7-1, Xavier 10-0. Away Record:
Marquette 1-3, Xavier 1-0. Neutral Record: Marquette 1-2, Xavier 1-3.
Conference Record: Marquette 1-1, Xavier 2-0. Series Record: Marquette leads,
GAME NOTES: The Xavier Musketeers will attempt to keep their lengthy winning
streak alive on Thursday night, as they welcome the Marquette Golden Eagles to
the Cintas Center for a Big East Conference showdown.
Marquette is off to a solid 9-6 start to the season, but while it has excelled
on its home floor (7-1), it has not fared well on the road, winning just one
of four away contests. After opening up Big East play with a 67-49 loss at
Creighton on New Year's Eve, the Golden Eagles bounced back with a 66-56 home
triumph over DePaul last Saturday.
Since losing three straight in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in late
November, Xavier has ripped off seven victories in a row to improve to 12-3
overall. It moved to 2-0 in league play following Saturday's 79-68 win versus
Butler. The Musketeers are now a perfect 10-0 at the Cintas Center this
Marquette leads the all-time series with Xavier, 46-15. These two teams last
played in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, which Marquette won,
Although the Golden Eagles trailed DePaul late in the second half, they
managed to end the game on a 20-9 run to pull away for the 10-point victory.
They shot 51.3 percent from the field on the afternoon, held DePaul to only
38.6 percent shooting and outscored it at the free-throw line, 23-2. Davante
Davis finished with a career-best 28 points, doing so on 9-of-14 from the
field and 10-of-11 from the foul line. Jamil Wilson tallied 14 points and
seven rebounds, while Todd Mayo came off the bench to contribute 10 points.
On the season, Marquette boasts a moderate offense, shooting 45.3 percent from
the field for 70.9 ppg, but the biggest reason for its success has been its
outstanding defensive play, holding opponents to under 39 percent shooting and
just 61.5 ppg. Gardner (13.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is the catalyst, shooting just shy
of 56 percent from the field. Wilson (11.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is the only other
play to net in double figures, although seven others put up at least 4.7 ppg.
Much like Marquette, Xavier came up big when it needed to in its most recent
contest, as it outscored Butler in the final five and a half minutes, 13-3, to
capture the 11-point win and remain unbeaten in league play. The team was
efficient as usual, shooting 50.9 percent from the field, 83.3 percent from
the foul line and winning the takeaway battle, 15-8. Semaj Christon was the
spark plug with 20 points, eight assists and three steals. Matt Stainbrook
contributed 17 points and seven boards, while Justin Martin and Dee Davis put
up 13 and 12 points, respectively.
The Musketeers have grown accustomed to well-rounded efforts this season, as
they outshoot their opponents from the floor, 46.9 percent to 39.9 percent,
for a +10.1 scoring margin while also living comfortably in the green in terms
of rebounding margin (+6.3). Christon leads the way with 14.7 ppg and has more
than twice as many assists (67) as turnovers (30). Stainbrook is a mainstay in
the frontcourt with 11.4 ppg and 8.5 rpg, while Isaiah Philmore, Myles Davis,
James Farr, Davis and Martin bring depth to the squad, with each scoring
between 7.1 and 8.9 ppg.
On paper, these are two very evenly-matched teams, but with Xavier playing out
of this world on its home court this season, it'll have the clear advantage to
knock off Marquette and remain unbeaten in the Big East.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Xavier 70, Marquette 65
01/09 10:32:24 ET
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