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Marquette knocks off Xavier for solid home win

Feb 15, 2014, 6:53 PM EST

marquette AP

Marquette is slowly turning the corner as the Golden Eagles won another game on Saturday, defeating Xavier 81-72 for a home Big East win.

The Golden Eagles are only 15-10, (7-5 Big East) but, for the first time this season, they have a three-game winning streak and they’re able to build some momentum going towards their likely only realistic shot at the NCAA Tournament: winning the Big East Tournament.

If the Golden Eagles get a shooting performance like they did from guard Jake Thomas, they have to like their chances so much more. Thomas as a game changer on Saturday, knocking down six three-pointers on his way to 18 points and it gave the Golden Eagles a fourth scorer and additional floor spacer.

Marquette also had solid scoring output from Todd Mayo (13 points) and Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson each added 16 points as well.

If Mayo isn’t the only perimeter scorer, it opens up driving lanes for Mayo and Wilson and makes it easier for them to score.

Buzz Williams’ team can defend pretty well but if they find a consistent perimeter scoring option like Jake Thomas, it gives them a new dimension and a chance at advancing to the final stages of the conference tournament.