Cincinnati, OH – Xavier defeated Marquette 62-58 in a Big East battle today at the Cintas Center. Marquette jumped out to an early lead in the first half behind their aggressive defense. Marquette played hard in your face defense and scored 14 first half points off of Xavier turnovers. Xavier’s big men Jalen Reynolds and James Farr kept the game close as they were crashing the backboards aggressively out rebounding the Golden Eagles and capitalizing on second chance points. Marquette took a nine point lead into the locker room 31-22.
Xavier came out in the second half much more aggressive on both offense and defense. They also came out shooting the basketball very well from behind the arc. Remmy Abell and Myles Davis were a huge part of Xavier’s second half comeback. Abell is a 6’4 junior guard, who is a very solid player. He’s not flashy or overly quick, but his game is very effective. Abell did a great job moving without the basketball and settling into soft spots of Marquette’s defense and was continuously open from long range. He connected on 5-of-9 three pointers including three makes in a two and a half minute stretch late in the second half that cut Marquette’s lead to just two points. Abell finished the game with 15 points.
Sophomore Davis was very clutch late in the game. The 6’2 off guard is simply a pure shooter, and his shooting range is from anywhere on the court. Davis is currently shooting 45 percent from behind the three point arc and 90 percent from the free throw line. Davis has a smooth game, he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and find open players. If he can get a little more aggressive with his “dribble-drive” game he will put defenders in a tough spot because he is such a great shooter, they will have to play him more honest. Davis scored all 14 of his points in the second half and he pitched in with three assists.
Senior guard Matt Carlino was huge for Marquette all afternoon. Carlino is a scrappy tough point guard. He plays pretty tough defense on opposing guards, is a good on-ball defender, and on he keeps the Golden Eagles offense flowing. Carlino is an excellent shooter although his percentages don’t show it, he has perfect form on his jump shot. He was the only player keeping Marquette in the game with his clutch three point shooting as he hit on 6-of-9 attempts from behind the arc. With two minutes left in the game, the lefty got fouled shooting a three pointer, he sank all three free throws to tie the game up at 56, But that would be as close as Marquette would get. Carlino ended the contest with 27 points, two steals, and two rebounds.
With the win Xavier improves their record to 12-6 and evens their record at 3-3 in Big East play. Xavier will get on the road to take on the Providence Friars on January 22nd. Marquette fell to 10-7 with the loss and 2-3 in conference play, the Golden Eagles will next play on January 21st at St. John’s.
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