MILWAUKEE — Senior guard Jake Thomas scored 18 points on a career-best six 3-pointers and Marquette held on for an 81-72 Big East Conference victory over Xavier on Saturday, the first time this season the Golden Eagles have won three consecutive games.
Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson each added 16 points for Marquette, (15-10, 7-5 Big East). Justin Martin had 20 points for Xavier, 17-8 overall, but also 7-5 in the conference after a 5-1 start.
Matt Stainbrook and Myles Davis added 12 points apiece for the Musketeers.
The Golden Eagles used a 10-point run in the first half to open a 19-8 lead. The Musketeers got no closer than six points the rest of the half as Marquette forged a 39-29 lead.
Xavier closed within 59-54 on a 3-pointer by Davis with 11:01 remaining, but Marquette answered with eight straight points to push it to 67-54.
Martin’s 3-pointer from the right corner pulled Xavier within 75-71 with 2:06 left, but the Golden Eagles responded with six consecutive free throws.