Anim’s career night helps Golden Eagles survive in Cintas Center

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Photo by Zach Bukowski

Sacar Anim (2) shoots a 3-pointer in Marquette’s win over Xavier at Fiserv Forum Jan. 15.

It was a crazy ending at the Cintas Center as Marquette claimed its first overtime victory of the season, beating the Xavier Musketeers 84-82 in double overtime Wednesday night without the nation’s leading scorer, Markus Howard.

This is the second consecutive game the Golden Eagles have played extra minutes after losing to then-No. 13 Butler Friday in overtime.

The game looked as if it was over with nine seconds remaining in regulation after Koby McEwen scored eight consecutive points in a span of 1:18, giving MU a convincing 61-58 lead.

However, Xavier’s Naji Marshall wasn’t going to let that happen. Steve Wojciechowski’s team didn’t foul and Marshall sunk a deep 3-pointer to tie it at 61 with two seconds remaining to force overtime.

Both teams were neck-and-neck during the first overtime. Marquette had a 67-64 advantage at the 3:20 mark, but then Marshall made an easy jumper off the fast break to pull it within one. Sophomore Brendan Bailey fouled out with 1:26 remaining in overtime with eight points and eight rebounds, but McEwen and Marshall both made free throws down the stretch to tie the score at 68.

Other than Marshall’s free throws, neither team scored in the last two minutes of overtime, pushing the game into double overtime. Both Marshall and Paul Scruggs fouled out in the final two minutes of the game and Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin were in foul trouble for the second overtime.

It was all Sacar Anim in the final five minutes, scoring 11 of his career-high 28 points during double overtime, giving the Golden Eagles the win. The redshirt senior’s career night came off of 8-for-14 shooting, five 3-pointers, four steals and seven crucial free throws in 48 minutes.

McEwen and Howard tied for second-best with 18 points each. McEwen drained five crucial free throws in the second half to keep MU in the game. Meanwhile, Howard went on an 8-0 run in the second half and at the 6:18 mark drained his third free throw, becoming the 72nd player in Division I history to score 2,500 career points.

Howard went into the locker room at the 12:05 mark in the second half after being hit in the nose. In 25 minutes, he sunk all five free throws, shot 6-for-14 from the field and contributed a team-high three assists.

Despite the loss of the star guard, Marquette managed to keep it close for the remainder of the second half.

However, this win didn’t always look promising. Though the Golden Eagles led 39-33 heading into the break and were shooting 52% from the field, coming out of the break, MU couldn’t convert on offense. The Musketeers then went on a 16-4 run and dismantled the Golden Eagles. In the middle of the second half, Marquette went on its own 8-0 run to tie the game at 53.

The score was tied 11 times and there were 17 lead changes.

Goodin led Xavier with a team-high 19 points on 5-for-10 shooting. He went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, Jamal Cain recorded a team-high nine rebounds in 29 minutes of play.

The Golden Eagles (15-6, 5-4 BIG EAST) head back to Milwaukee for a 1 p.m. matchup against the DePaul Blue Demons.

This story was written by Zoe Comerford. She can be reached at isabel.ccomerford@marquette.edu or on Twitter @zoe_comerford.