National Basketball Association
Xavier 91, Marquette 88
When: 2:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 20, 2020
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
# Paul Szelc, # Lamar Simpson, # Brian O'Connell
Adam Kunkel nailed a 3-pointer with one second remaining Sunday as host Xavier survived a wild finish to outlast Marquette 91-88 in a Big East game in Cincinnati.
Kunkel's game-winner came after Marquette's Koby McEwen had capped a 20-point performance with a game-tying, four-point play with 25 seconds remaining. McEwen hit a 3-point hoop and was fouled by Jason Carter.
McEwen hit the free throw to create an 88-88 tie, the seventh and final deadlock of the second half, setting up the heroics by Kunkel, who finished with 22 points.
Paul Scruggs led the way for Xavier (8-0, 1-0) with a game-high 29 points and game-high six assists. Nate Johnson added 14 points, while Zach Freemantle complemented nine points with seven rebounds.
Dawson Garcia matched McEwen's 20-point total for Marquette (5-4, 1-2), while Theo John had 14 points, D.J. Carton 10 and Jamal Cain 10 to go with seven rebounds.
Both teams shot well in the high-scoring affair, with the Golden Eagles, who had beaten Xavier in each of their previous four meetings, finishing at 55.2 percent from the field, slightly better than the Musketeers' 53.6.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Kunkel and Carter had given Xavier, playing at home for the seventh time already this season, its biggest lead of the second half at 78-70 with 5:53 to go before Marquette rallied.
Scruggs scored 16 of his 29 points in the first half, during which Xavier trailed by as many as nine before going into the break down just 34-33.
A jumper by John allowed the Golden Eagles to equal their largest lead of the half at 24-15 with 8:40 remaining in the period before Scruggs caught fire.
He hit consecutive 3-pointers to trim the deficit to three, then hit three consecutive shots, including another 3-pointer, in a personal 7-0 run that gave the Musketeers a brief 31-29 lead.
McEwen hit a pair of 3-pointers for Marquette in the half, including one with 25 seconds remaining in the period to turn a 33-31 deficit into the Golden Eagles' one-point lead.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Dawson Garcia 20
Paul Scruggs 29
D.J. Carton 5
Paul Scruggs 6
Jamal Cain 7
Zach Freemantle 7
Theo John 4
||Free Throws Made
Adam Kunkel 6
Koby McEwen 1
Colby Jones 3
Dawson Garcia 1
Zach Freemantle 1
Team Stats Summary