MILWAUKEE (AP) — Olivier-Maxence Prosper tipped in a putback with 1.6 seconds left, and No. 11 Marquette edged No. 16 Xavier 69-68 on Wednesday night to extend its slim Big East lead.
Marquette (21-6, 13-3), picked to finish ninth by the league’s coaches in the preseason poll, moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Xavier (19-7, 11-4), No. 24 Providence, and No. 18 Creighton.
After a layup by Jack Nunge put the Musketeers ahead 68-67 with 8.3 seconds remaining, Marquette raced up the floor. Kam Jones missed his driving layup attempt, but Prosper used his right hand to tip in the offensive rebound and put the Golden Eagles back in front.
Xavier’s Jerome Hunter threw a long inbounds pass to Nunge, whose deep 3-point try caromed off the backboard as the buzzer sounded.
Marquette got 17 points from Stevie Mitchell, 15 from Tyler Kolek, and 14 from Oso Ighodaro. Prosper had seven points, all in the last five minutes.
Souley Boum fought through a sprained ankle to score 24 points for the Musketeers.
Xavier led 66-63 and had the ball in the final minute before Boum lost it, and Mitchell got a steal, leading to Prosper’s layup with 29.1 seconds remaining. Xavier committed a backcourt turnover on its ensuing possession, as Boum’s pass went off Colby Jones’ body before going out of bounds.
Ighodaro then got fouled and hit two free throws with 22.4 seconds left to put Marquette ahead. Nunge’s layup off a nice pass from Jones put Xavier back ahead before Prosper’s clutch tip-in.