The Marquette Golden Eagles defeated the Xavier Musketeers Friday night, 80-63, and are now 10-3 in Big East play. That was expected. Poor Xavier didn’t deserve to get beat up on but they simply could not handle the Golden Eagles’ scorching hot shooting. How hot is scorching hot? Well, they shot 85% from the field in the second quarter. No my friends, that is not a typo. EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT. That is bonkers.
After a slow start (Marquette was actually down 14-12 and the end of the first, believe it or not), MU caught fire in the second, out-scoring the Musketeers 29-9 and holding them scoreless in the last five minutes of the quarter. The rest is history. The lead got as high as 24 points in the third quarter. Xavier got it to nine in the middle of the fourth, because of course they did, but could not get any closer and MU quickly pulled away. The Golden Eagles shot 44% from the field which is right around their season average. The key to their offensive success was making a season best 13 threes shooting at nearly 42% in the game. That is wayyyyy above their season average of 31%. It’s very encouraging to see MU go off from downtown. Could you imagine if they added that to their offense on a consistent basis? That would be scary.
Allazia Blockton led the way for Marquette with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting and hit three of her six threes. Natisha Hiedeman was also feeling it from deep, hitting four of her six attempts and finished with 18 points. Amani Wilborn capped off the list of players in double figures for MU with 13 points and tacked on six assists. That’s just what the doctor ordered after a tough loss last weekend to Creighton.
Just because I feel pity for the Musketeers, let’s give them some honorable mentions. Jada Byrd led Xavier with a career high 22 points hitting nine of her twelve shots. They weren’t too shabby from the field as a group at 42%, but MU was just better. It also didn’t help that the Musketeers were unable to find their stroke from deep. They only made five of their 26 attempts and you need to do better than that when you’re down 15+ points for most of the game. The Golden Eagles were also pesky defensively, forcing the Musketeers into 15 turnovers. And boy did they ever take advantage, scoring 29 points off those turnovers.
This is a feel good game for Marquette that keeps them one game back of DePaul for the top spot in the Big East.
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will play the Butler Bulldogs in Indianapolis on Sunday at noon Central. Butler is 5-9 in conference play and an even 13-13 overall. They are on a five game losing streak, most recently dropping one to DePaul 86-68.