No. 6 Marquette dispatches No. 15 Xavier for Big East crown

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No. 6 Marquette cruised to its first Big East tournament title in school history with a 65-51 victory over No. 15 Xavier on Saturday in New York.

Tyler Kolek had 20 points, eight rebounds and three steals for top-seeded Marquette (28-6), which was playing in its first tournament final since arriving from Conference USA prior to the 2005-06 season.

Kam Jones added 11 points, five rebounds and four assists for Marquette, which has won nine straight games and 14 of 15.

David Joplin chipped in 12 points for the Golden Eagles, whose 28 wins tied a school record set during the 1970-71 season when Marquette went 28-1.

The Golden Eagles shot 22 of 61 (36.1 percent) from the field, including 7 of 27 (25.9 percent) from 3-point range.

Marquette scored 17 points off Xavier’s 13 turnovers, while the Musketeers mustered just seven points off the Golden Eagles’ four miscues.

Second-seeded Xavier (25-9), which saw its five-game winning streak end after scoring its fewest points this season, was led by Adam Kunkel’s 14 points.

Jerome Hunter finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Musketeers, who were playing in the title game for just the second time since arriving from the Atlantic-10 before the 2013-2014 season. Desmond Claude added 11 points.

The Musketeers shot 21 of 61 (34.4 percent) from the field, including 5 of 20 (25 percent) from beyond the arc.

Leading by 15 at halftime, the Golden Eagles put the game away by opening the second half on a 15-3 run to take a 54-27 advantage following Joplin’s 3-pointer with 13:18 left in the game.

Marquette dominated from the opening tip, jumping out to a 21-4 lead in less than eight minutes before taking a 39-24 halftime advantage.

Kolek and Joplin had nine points apiece in the first half for Marquette.

Claude had six and Kunkel five for Xavier.

–Field Level Media

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