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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUBB-Xavier takeaways: Kam Jones stays hot, defense leads to offense, crucial second-chance points

Photo by Forster Goodrich
Kam Jones scored 34 points in Marquette’s 88-64 win over Xavier

Behind junior guard Kam Jones’ second-straight 34-point performance, No. 7 Marquette men’s basketball routed the Xavier Musketeers 88-64 Sunday at Fiserv Forum in its 12th Big East win.

Here are three takeaways from the victory:

Birthday boy Kam Jones stays hot

Coming off a career-game against DePaul, Jones had more left to give on his special day.

He finished the half with a team-best 16 points and carried that same energy over to the next half, dropping 18 more and marking his third game in the last six that he has scored over 30 points.

“I’m just being aggressive,” Jones said. “That’s my mindset every game. Go out, be aggressive, don’t overthink.”

In his last six games, Jones is averaging 22.5 points per game while shooting 56.5% from deep. Smart said he believes Jones’ ability to be present has allowed him to find success on the court in this stretch.

“It sounds really oversimplified, but you can’t be good when you’re in the past or in the future, mentally,” Smart said.

“When you are here in the moment, and the ball comes to you and you can shoot the ball like him, or attack and finish around the basket like him, then great things are gonna happen.”

Defense leads to offense

Almost halfway through the first half, the game was tied at 18. But thanks to the Golden Eagles’ suffocating defense and a 20-8 run, they broke open the game and pulled away from the Musketeers.

In the extended run, Marquette grabbed four steals, forced six turnovers and held Xavier scoreless for over five minutes.

“We had a flurry of deflections during that stretch where we were able to extend the lead, and I always feel like that is a good indicator of overall energy,” Smart said.

By the end of the game, the Golden Eagles forced 16 total turnovers and scored 17 points off of them, while earning nine steals and a season-most eight blocks.

Second-chance points are crucial

Although Xavier grabbed more offensive rebounds (15-11), Marquette found more success with its extra chances.

The Golden Eagles finished with 18 second-chance points — 11 of which came in the second half — while Xavier earned a total of 10.

Smart said despite their struggles on glass earlier in the game, it was his team’s energy that kept them in control.

“Our theme for the day was EGBs,” Smart said, “which are always important to us, but we felt like today in particular, we wanted to be at a high level with that, regardless of circumstances.”

Marquette is 10-1 when scoring more than 10 second-chance points this season.

This article was written by Kaylynn Wright. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @KaylynnWrightMU.

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About the Contributors
Kaylynn Wright
Kaylynn Wright, Assistant Sports Editor
Kaylynn Wright is a sophomore from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin studying journalism, and she is an Assistant Sports Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys reading and watching baseball, specifically the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox. She is excited to meet new people and continue to create high-quality sports content for the Wire.
Forster Goodrich
Forster Goodrich, Staff Photographer
Forster Goodrich is a sophomore from Lyme, New Hampshire studying digital media. Forster works on the photography desk as a Staff Photographer. Outside of the Wire, he is on the club waterski team, and enjoys everything outdoors. He is looking forward to the upcoming basketball season and getting to photograph games at Fiserv Forum.

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