The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette drops BIG EAST opener to Xavier on the road

Photo by John Leuzzi
Redshirt junior guard Greg Elliott (5) dribbles the ball in Marquette men’s basketball’s 80-66 win over Northern Illinois Nov. 27.

For the first time this season, the Marquette men’s basketball team suffers a back-to-back loses after falling to No. 22 Xavier 80-71 Saturday afternoon at the Cintas Center to open up BIG EAST conference play. 

After struggling offensively in the first half against No. 4 UCLA last time out, the Golden Eagles as a team came out of the gates shooting collectively better, especially from the 3-point line. 

Redshirt first-year forward Justin Lewis scored seven of the team’s first 10 points of the game, as the Baltimore, Maryland, native, continued to show off his consistent play on the season. Lewis would finish the contest with 15 points and seven rebounds.  

A Darryl Morsell 3-pointer with 11:40 left in the first half gave Marquette its largest lead of the game at the time at 22-14. Morsell finished with 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting from the field to go along with six rebounds in the contest. 

Xavier would then go on a 9-0 run themselves later in the half to retake the lead 31-30.  

The Musketeers would hold a 38-36 lead at the break thanks to 10 points apiece from senior guard Nate Johnson and sophomore guard Dwon Odom.  

After starting out the game 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, Marquette would finish the first half 6-for-14 from deep.

Marquette’s start to the second half would be different as the Golden Eagles struggled coming out of halftime. Meanwhile, the Musketeers would go on a 12-4 run to start the second half to take a 50-40 advantage, their biggest lead of the game.  

Redshirt first-year guard Tyler Kolek would also pick up his fourth foul just a minute into the second half, forcing him to miss a majority of the. After going o-for-11 from three in his last two games, Kolek went 2-for-5 from deep to go along with a game-high seven assists on the afternoon.  

Throughout the second half, Xavier tried to break the game open, but Marquette would not let up despite the team’s foul troubles.  

After coming off a career-high 22 points against UCLA, redshirt junior Greg Elliott continued to have the hot hand for the Golden Eagles, as he led the team in scoring for the second-straight game with a team-high 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field off the bench. 

Elliott would score 13 of his 18 points in the second half, as the veteran guard hit a 3-pointer in the corner to cut the Xavier lead to 70-69 with 3:03 remaining. The Golden Eagles would only score two more points in the last three minutes.  

Despite Marquette’s second half efforts, the Musketeers on the other hand, would execute down the stretch as a Nate Johnson 3-pointer in the corner with just 28 seconds remaining would seal the deal on the hopes of a Golden Eagles rally.  

Johnson, a senior guard out of Miami, Florida, finished with 17 points on 4-for-7 shooting from deep and five rebounds.  

Sophomore guard Dwon Odom played a pivotal role down the stretch for Xavier as he finished the afternoon with a career-high 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the field off the bench.  

The Golden Eagles were heavily outmatched in the paint, as the Musketeers outscored Marquette 44-28 down low and had 13 offensive rebounds throughout the game.  

Junior forward Jack Nunge had 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Musketeers.  

Xavier took 35 free throws throughout the game compared to Marquette’s 12.  

With the loss, Marquette drops to 8-4, 0-1 BIG EAST on the season and will look to bounce back against No. 20 UCONN Tuesday night at Fiserv Forum. Tip-off for Tuesday’s contest against the Huskies is set for 8 p.m. CST. 

This article was written by Sam Arco. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SamArcoMU. 

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *