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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Winning streak comes to end as No. 25 Marquette falls to No. 12 Xavier

(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

After taking down No. 6 UConn on Wednesday night, the No. 25 Marquette men’s basketball team looked to take down another AP Top 25 opponent in the No. 12 Xavier Musketeers.

Despite 25 points from junior guard Tyler Kolek and a back and forth ending, Xavier defeated Marquette 80-76 at the Cintas Center.

The Golden Eagles (14-5, 6-2 Big East) five-game winning came to an end, while the Musketeers (15-3, 7-0) won their 11th straight win.

“I thought our guys showed tremendous grit to fight and battle,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart told ESPN Milwaukee broadcasters Steve “The Homer” True and Tony Smith in a post-game radio interview. “Down the stretch it was not one of our better half’s offensively, we missed some shots we would like back.”  

Sophomore guard Kam Jones got the festivities going early as he hit three of his first four shots for eight points as Marquette took a 15-6 lead with 15:39 in the half.

Xavier would respond with an extended 12-1 run with senior forward Zac Freemantle and junior forward Jerome Hunter combining for eight of the 12, as the Musketeers took their first lead of the half, 18-16 with 12:24 left.

After falling behind 24-20 with 10:11 to play in the frame, Kolek hit a step-back 3-pointer that sparked a 7-0 run as the Golden Eagles retook the lead 27-24.

Kolek continued with the hot hand in the final nine minutes of the half as he was responsible for 15 of the final 21 points Marquette scored in the half.

The Cumberland, Rhode Island, native finished with 20 points in the first half as Marquette led 48-44 heading into the locker room.

Xavier picked up momentum to to begin the second half as it outscored Marquette 7-2 to retake the lead at 51-50.

Each side would go back and forth with big runs to take the lead, the first coming from Marquette with a 7-0 run to take a 61-58 lead with 11:45 to play.

The Musketeers responded with a 5-0 run of their own to take the lead right back, 63-61.

Then both teams hit a cold stretch with Marquette failing to score for a stretch of 3 minutes and 32 seconds and Xavier not scoring for 2:19, but the Musketeers led 66-63 with 6:28 to play.

After the Golden Eagles got it within two, first year guard Chase Ross picked up the loose ball and through down a slam to tie the game at 68-68.

The tie wouldn’t last long as Boum hit a three pointer with 3:08 to play, giving the Musketeers a 71-68 lead.

Marquette would make one last comeback attempt as sophomore forward David Joplin hit a side step mid-range jumper to cut the lead back down to two, 72-70.

After forcing a miss from junior guard Colby Jones, junior forward Oso Ighodaro hit a hook shot to tie the game back up at 72-72 with 1:12 to play.

Boum once again answered for Xavier as he would hit a mid-range shot over Ighodaro to give the lead back to the Musketeers, 74-72 with 46 second left.

After junior forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper missed a layup with 34 seconds left, the Golden Eagles had to foul Boum who hit a pair of free-throws to extend the Musketeers lead to four.

Though Marquette brought the score with two twice, Xavier sealed the win off of free-throws.

“I’m just disappointed we didn’t win that game,” Smart said. “Our guys really fought and battled and put us in a position where we were tied with 45 seconds left in the game and when you get in those situations it becomes a make or miss game.”

Marquette was held to just 28 points on 35% shooting from the field and 1-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc.

Kolek finished with a team high 25 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

Ighodaro and Jones added 14 and 12 points respectively.

Boum lead the way for Xavier with 16 points, including 14 in the second half, while shooting just 5-for-15 from the field.

Marquette (14-5, 6-2) will now return home to host No. 19 Providence at 8 p.m. CST Jan. 18.

This story was written by Jackson Gross. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacksonGrossMU.

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