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11:00 AM PT12:00 PM MT1:00 PM CT2:00 PM ET7:00 PM GMT3:00 PM 北京时间12:00 PM MST2:00 PM EST, Jan 23, 2022
Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 14,658

Marquette peaking as No. 20 Xavier comes to town

Marquette looks to extend its win streak to six games while toppling yet another ranked opponent as it hosts No. 20 Xavier on Sunday afternoon in Big East action in Milwaukee, Wis.

After dropping three games to open conference play, Shaka Smart has coached the Golden Eagles (13-6, 5-3 Big East) to five consecutive wins, three of which have been against ranked teams.

Thanks to a go-ahead 3-pointer from Justin Lewis with 13 seconds left, Marquette beat No. 11 Villanova 57-54 on Wednesday to earn its first win at Finneran Pavilion in program history.

"I just wanted to win the game for my team," Lewis told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "So, I felt that I just needed to score and that's what I did."

The redshirt freshman finished with 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting and seven rebounds to help snap the Wildcats' 29-game home win streak. Greg Elliot added 14 points off the bench, and Darryl Morsell tallied 10.

Lewis has been extremely consistent all season, scoring in double figures in 16 of 19 games. He is averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game in Big East play to go along with 7.4 rebounds, while shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from 3-point range.

With the win over Villanova, the Golden Eagles have now beaten four top-25 teams under Smart and have matched their win total from last season.

Over the course of its current win streak, Marquette is averaging 79.4 points per game and is holding opponents to an average of 64.4.

Xavier (14-3, 4-2) has also put together a nice run of its own, winning three of its last four games. The Musketeers edged DePaul 68-67 on Wednesday night in their most recent game after Jack Nunge scored the team's last six points and made the go-ahead free throw with 1:15 remaining.

Nunge paced Xavier with 23 points off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting. Colby Jones chipped in 13, Paul Scruggs finished with eight and Zach Freemantle recorded seven points along with a team-high nine rebounds.

"We had a tough start to the game, but we stayed together, and we stayed with our game plan, and we fought until the last buzzer," Nunge said. "We ended up coming out on top, so I'm really proud of the effort our team exhibited."

The Musketeers' offensive attack has continued to be balanced, as four players are averaging at least 11 points per game. Nunge has paced the team with 12.6, with Nate Johnson (11.6), Jones (11.3) and Scruggs (11.0) all trailing closely behind.

Winning the battle on the glass has also been a major key to success for Xavier. The Musketeers have finished with a positive rebounding differential in 13 of 17 games this season, but have been outrebounded by opponents in each of the last three contests.

Cesare Edwards and Dieonte Miles could be out for Xavier on Sunday, as both are listed as questionable. Edwards has missed the last three games with an ankle injury, and Miles missed the game against DePaul due to an illness.

Sunday marks the second meeting between Xavier and the Golden Eagles this season. The Musketeers came out on top back on Dec. 18, beating Marquette 80-71 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 21, 2022

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