NEW YORK (AP) — 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 third-seeded Musketeers (21-11) will face second-seeded and 14th-ranked Creighton in the semifinals on Friday night. The Bluejays advanced with an 84-62 victory over DePaul.
Both Creighton and Xavier were making their debuts in the Big East tournament.
Matt Stainbrook scored down low with 4:32 to play to give Xavier a 57-51 lead and that would be 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), which lost its fourth straight.
Deonte Burton had a career-high 23 points for the Golden Eagles and Todd Mayo added 21.
Mayo hit a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left to bring Marquette within 65-63. Christon went 1 for 2 from the free throw line on consecutive possessions around a missed 3-point attempt by Mayo.
Mayo scored with 2 seconds left to make it 67-65 but Stainbrook made one of two free throws with .9 seconds left for the final margin.
Christon came into the game with 984 points and he joins 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, which was trying to reach the semifinals for the third time, shot 57.8 percent from the field (26 of 45) but committed 15 turnovers which Xavier turned into 15 points.