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Semaj Christon scores career-high 28, Xavier beats Marquette 86-79 for 8th straight win

  • 5ce56534691d7a01480f6a706700974b.jpg

    Xavier's Isaiah Philmore shoots past Marquette's Chris Otule in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game at Xavier in Cincinnati, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman) (The Associated Press)

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    Xavier's Isaiah Philmore pulls a rebound down past Marquette's Chris Otule in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game at Xavier in Cincinnati, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman) (The Associated Press)

  • 0f2b8ab669347b01480f6a70670060d7.jpg

    Marquette coach Buzz Williams yells at a player in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game at Xavier in Cincinnati, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman) (The Associated Press)

  • 3dd193c7693c7b01480f6a70670012e9.jpg

    Xavier's Isaiah Dee Davis grabs a loose ball past Marquette's Todd Mayo in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game at Xavier in Cincinnati, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman) (The Associated Press)

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    Xavier's Isaiah Philmore drives to the basket past Marquette's Deonte Burton in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game at Xavier in Cincinnati, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman) (The Associated Press)

Semaj Christon scored a career-high 28 points and hit back-to-back 3s in the closing minutes Thursday night, helping Xavier hold on for an 86-79 victory over Marquette and its eighth win in a row.

Xavier (13-3, 3-0 Big East) let a 12-point lead slip away in the second half before Christon hit the pair of 3s, putting the Musketeers ahead to stay in a matchup of the league's top defensive and rebounding teams.

Marquette (9-7, 1-2) hadn't allowed 80 points this season. Xavier dominated the boards 39-20 and went 32 of 41 on free throws.

The Golden Eagles were last in the league in 3-pointers, but stayed close by making a season-high 11 shots from beyond the arc. Davante Gardner had 19 points.

Xavier improved to 11-0 at the Cintas Center this season and 182-25 in its 14 seasons at the on-campus arena.

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