Xavier advances in Big East Conference Tournament with 68-65 win over Marquette

NEW YORK -- Justin Martin scored 19 points and Semaj Christon added 18 to lead Xavier to a 68-65 victory over Marquette on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.

The win got the third-seeded Musketeers (21-11) off the bubble and practically clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament, even if they lose to second-seeded and 14th-ranked Creighton in the semifinals on Friday night (9:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1).

Creighton advanced with an 84-62 victory over DePaul.

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Center Matt Stainbrook, making a surprise appearance, scored down low with 4:32 to play to give Xavier a 57-51 lead.  That was the Musketeers' last field goal of the game as they went 11 of 14 from the free throw line to hold off sixth-seeded Marquette (17-15).

Coach Chris Mack had said Stainbrook wouldn't be available until the finals after the 6-10 junior strained the ACL in his left knee on March 3. But the doctor cleared Stainbrook to play and he responded with eight points in 15 minutes.

Christon, who came into the game with 984 points, joined Byron Larkin as the only sophomores in Xavier history to score 1,000 points. A unanimous first-team All-Big East selection, Christon had his career high of 28 points earlier in the season against Marquette.

Marquette committed 15 turnovers which Xavier turned into 15 points.

"We turned the ball over too many times in a lower-than-normal possession game," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "It's a possession game and you need a shot every possession."

Deonte Burton had a career-high 23 points for the Golden Eagles and Todd Mayo added 21.

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