Carlino’s 27 not enough as Xavier rallies past Marquette

Photo by Xidan Zhang/[email protected]

Marquette was primed to earn its first true road victory in Cincinnati against the Xavier Musketeers, but failed to seal the deal as Xavier handed Marquette a 62-58 defeat thanks to a second half rally.

Matt Carlino carried the Golden Eagles offensively with a spectacular effort. The graduate senior scored 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting, but failed to hit a step-back three to tie the game in the waning seconds.

The play of the game came just possessions earlier. First, Dee Davis floated a pass over big man Matt Stainbrook’s head with 49 seconds remaining and his team leading by just a point. On the ensuing possession, Marquette got the ball to Carlino, who dribbled to his left and drew a double team by the scorer’s table. Carlino fought through the tight defense to fire a perfect pass to the right-side block to Luke Fischer, who made a leaping catch, landed, pivoted right and got a pretty clean look from just a few feet away.

It appeared as if Marquette (10-7, 2-3) would, at the very least, take a one-point lead with under 30 seconds to go, but Fischer, who was shooting 78 percent from the floor on the season, put a bit too much on the shot, which bounced off the backboard and spun around the rim before falling to the Cintas Center hardwood.

Carlino carried the load offensively with his second-highest scoring total of the season. Duane Wilson was Marquette’s second-highest scorer with 12 points, Fischer followed with seven points and Derrick Wilson contributed five points. Xavier’s (12-6, 3-3) leading scorer was Remy Abell with 15 points, followed by Myles Davis with 14 and some crucial threes along the way.

Marquette got off to its best start in an opposing gym all season in the first half. The Golden Eagles had nine steals and forced 12 total Xavier miscues. Marquette earned 14 points off those turnovers and did a great job of turning defense into offense in transition with 10 fastbreak points. Marquette led 31-22 heading into the locker room.

Marquette had frustrated the Musketeers with its 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones in the first 20 minutes, but Xavier got rolling by using Stainbrook as a facilitator in the high post. Xavier constantly fed the big man the ball at the top of the key and Stainbrook’s rare ability to read the floor made the difference, as he was able to find an open teammate along the perimeter as Marquette collapsed and rotated in the zone. The primary beneficiary was Davis, who scored all 14 of his points in the second half.

The Golden Eagles didn’t help their cause in the second half with 11 miscues compared to just four errors by Xavier.

Marquette struggled to get the ball down low and Fischer had a hard time getting into a rhythm. Foul trouble was once again an issue, as Fischer picked up three fouls and missed stretches of the first half and a chunk of the second. This is the fifth time in five games Fischer has committed at least three fouls in conference play. He is averaging only 7.8 points per game in conference play after averaging 15.5 points in his first four games of eligibility.

The Golden Eagles will attempt to overcome its road woes Wednesday night when they travel to New York City for a showdown against a talented St. John’s squad at Madison Square Garden. MSG might not be a great place to expect Marquette to earn its first win away from home, as the Golden Eagles are 1-4 at the Garden the past three seasons, including Big East conference tournament contests.