The Musketeers defeated the Creighton Blue Jays 63-61 Thursday in the Big East Quarterfinals. Xavier (18-14, 10-9, 88th) was able to advance to the semifinals thanks in large part to Zach Hankins. The center was 11 of 15 from the field, scoring 22 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and tipping in the game-winning shot. Naji Marshall (11) and Kyle Gastlin (10) scored in double-digits as well. Gastlin’s block at the end of the game sealed the victory. The Blue Jays (17-14, 9-10, 80th) were on the fence regarding the NCAA tournament, but now are on the outside. Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander scored 21 points in the loss. The Big East Tournament is down to four teams: Villanova, Xavier, Marquette, and Seton Hall. Xavier will play 6:30 PM Friday night versus Villanova (23-9, 14-5, 26th) at Madison Square Garden. TV: FS1 Radio: 550 WKRC
Xavier celebrates the 63-61 victory over Creighton (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)
Xavier won its fifth consecutive game Thursday night at St. John’s 84-73. Naji Marshall again led the Musketeers (16-13, 8-8, 93rd) with 31 points, a career-high. Quentin Goodin added 13 points for Xavier, while Zach Hankins (11) and Tyrique Jones (11/10) also contributed. LJ Figueroa scored 23 points and Shamorie Ponds had 13 points and six assists for the Red Storm (20-9, 8-8, 44th). The victory is one of the strongest this season, and the best road victory thus far for Xavier. Once in last place, Xavier is now tied for third place in the Big East.The Muskies’ will visit Butler (15-13, 6-9, 90th) Tuesday at 6:00 PM. TV: FS1 Radio: 700 WLW
Naji Marshall (13) scored a career-high 31 points (Ny Post/Sipkin).
Xavier was able to hold on for a major victory at Seton Hall, 70-69 Wednesday. Naji Marshall’s 28 points led the way for XU (14-13, 6-8, 117th). Tyrique Jones was menacing, mainly in the first half. He finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. The Pirates (16-10, 7-7, 65th) were led by Myles Cale’s 21 points. Despite, a 16-point lead with under six minutes to play, Xavier allowed Seton Hall to come back. The Pirates had a good chance at winning but missed buzzer-beating shot. The Musketeers will continue with a tough matchup at home versus Villanova (20-7, 11-3, 22nd) Sunday at 1:30 PM. TV: CBS Radio: 550 WKRC
Naji Marshall’s 28 points led all scorers (The Enquirer).
Xavier continues to stumble this season, falling to Georgetown on the road, Thursday night, 80-73. The Musketeers (11-11, 3-6, 121st) have skidded, now losing four games in a road. Georgetown (14-7, 4-4, 70th) was led by James Akinjo who scored 23 points, 10 of those coming in a late rally. Xavier’s Naji Marshall had 16 points and Paul Scruggs had 15. Quentin Goodin scored 14 off the bench. The Muskies’ simply are trying to stay at .500 or above. A first-year head coach, newer players, and an extremely difficult schedule (21st of 350) are wreaking havoc. Xavier plays Creighton (11-9, 3-5, 68th) Sunday at 1 PM. TV: Fox Sports Ohio Radio: 700 WLW.
Paul Scruggs had 15 points in the loss in Washington D.C. (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)
Xavier was able to overcome an early 17 point deficit to beat Georgetown 81-75, Wednesday night. The home victory was simply the best game of the season for the Musketeers. They improve to 10-7 (2-2) and 88th in the RealTimeRPI Power Ratings. Meanwhile the Hoyas fell to 11-5 (1-2) and 87th in the RTR PR. The Muskies needed a quality victory and finally got one thanks to Zach Hankins and 23 points and 10 rebounds for XU. Also, Tyrique Jones had a double-double as well. His 19 points and 10 rebounds helped X maintain the lead over GU. The Musketeers will play Butler (10-6, 1-2, 53rd) at home Sunday at noon. TV: CBS Sports Network Radio: 700 WLW
Xavier celebrated an 81-75 victory over Georgetown (Elgazzar)
Marquette took care of Xavier handily by 18 points at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. The Golden Eagles improved to 12-3 (RTR Power Rk: 30) and the Musketeers fell to 9-7 (100). Xavier’s tough schedule, younger players, and new coaching staff are all taking their toll this season. XU will play in the Cintas Center versus Georgetown (11-4, 84) Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. TV: FS1 Radio: 700 WLW
Xavier’s Tyrique Jones (0) goes up for a contested shot in a 70-52 loss to Marquette (AP)