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Thomas makes career-best 6 3-pointers to lead Marquette over Xavier 81-72

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.

Xavier trailed 39-29 at the half, but closed within 59-54 on a 3-pointer by Myles Davis with 11:01 remaining. Marquette answered with eight straight points to push it to 67-54.

Martin's 3-pointer from the right corner pulled Xavier with 75-71 with 2:06 left, but the Golden Eagles responded with six consecutive free throws.