Preview: Xavier at Marquette
Xavier can complete the season sweep of a second Big East opponent with a win at Marquette on Saturday. Butler was the first to be swept by the Musketeers on Tuesday as Semaj Christon dropped 15 points on the road. Christon is averaging 19.4 points in league play and had a career-high 28 points in the first meeting with the Golden Eagles on Jan. 9.
Marquette made it 2-0 against Seton Hall on Tuesday for its own series sweep as Jamil Wilson had a game-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. "I thought this was the best game for Jamil since he's been here, period." head coach Buzz Williams told reporters. Wilson, who was limited to five points against Xavier in January, has since averaged 13.6 points.
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ABOUT XAVIER (17-7, 7-4 Big East): Having won their last two, the Musketeers appear to have shaken off a recent three-game skid in conference play. Xavier was riding an eight-game win streak in December and early January but that same dominance hasn't been on recent display. Xavier has struggled against the Big East, especially with a 2-3 showing on the road.
ABOUT MARQUETTE (14-10, 6-5): Davante Gardner leads the Golden Eagles in scoring with 14.7 points a game but his minutes have diminished over the last four games. As Williams told reporters on Tuesday, "the rotation for us is whoever is producing," and Gardner hasn't been producing up to par. Gardner has come off the bench in three of the last four games and is averaging 23 minutes despite playing more than 30 in the month of January.
1. Marquette leads the all-time series with Xavier 46-16.
2. Xavier G Dee Davis ranks second in the Big East in assists per game with 4.8 and matched a season-high of nine against Seton Hall on Tuesday.
3. Gardner led the Golden Eagles with 19 points in the first meeting with Xavier and played a game-high 37 minutes.
PREDICTION: Xavier 74, Marquette 72