EditorsNote: corrects to 19 second-half points for Howard in third graf
Markus Howard scored 31 points as No. 12 Marquette overcame an 11-point second-half deficit and recorded an 87-82 victory over Xavier on Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati.
Howard notched his fifth 30-point game of the season, the 13th of his career and the third against Xavier as Marquette (18-3, 7-1 Big East) won its seventh straight since a 20-point loss at St. John’s on Jan. 1.
Howard shot 10 of 22 from the floor and made four 3-pointers as Marquette outscored Xavier 40-24 in the final 14:10. During Marquette’s comeback, Howard scored all 19 of his second-half points.
Brothers Joey Hauser and Sam Hauser added 21 and 20, respectively, as the duo shot a combined 13 of 24 and hit 9 of 13 3-point attempts. Sam Hauser gave the Golden Eagles the lead for good when his 3-pointer put Marquette ahead 71-69 with 3:55 left.
Paul Scruggs and Tyrique Jones scored 21 points apiece, but Xavier (11-10, 3-5) made just three baskets in the final seven minutes and lost its third straight. Naji Marshall added 16, but Quentin Goodin was held to 10, and Zach Hankins was limited to six points.
After getting the lead for good, Marquette took an 81-72 advantage on two free throws by Brendan Bailey with 59 seconds left. Xavier was within 83-80 on two free throws by Jones with 10 seconds left, but Howard and Sacar Anim iced the game at the line.
Xavier opened the second half with a 14-5 run and took a 53-44 lead on a 3-pointer by Marshall with 16 minutes left. Xavier took its first double-digit lead at 58-47 on a 3-pointer by Scruggs less than two minutes later.
Xavier made 10 of its first 13 shots and took a 28-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Scruggs with 9:11 left before halftime. Marquette countered with a 9-2 run and forged a 30-30 tie on a jumper by Howard with 5:54 to go. The first half ended tied at 39.
—Field Level Media