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Kunkel hits winner at buzzer, Xavier tops Marquette 91-88

Syndication: The Enquirer

Xavier Musketeers guard Adam Kunkel (5) creates separation from Marquette Golden Eagles forward Jamal Cain (23) and Marquette Golden Eagles forward Justin Lewis (2) before hitting a buzzer beating 3-pointer giving Xavier the win over Marquette Golden Eagles 91-88 in the NCAA men’s basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Cincinnati.

Albert Cesare / The Enquirer via

CINCINNATI -- Adam Kunkel hit a 3-pointer as time expired to lead Xavier to a 91-88 win over Marquette on Sunday, keeping the Musketeers undefeated.

Marquette had tied the game at 88 when Koby McEwen hit a stepback 3-pointer and turned it into a four-point play with 25 seconds to go.

Xavier ran the clock down and Paul Scruggs drove into the lane to attempt a floater in the closing seconds. Marquette’s Dawson Garcia blocked the shot and Kunkel beat a teammate to it near the top of the key. He took a dribble left to find space and launched a shot over two lunging defenders that that swished at the buzzer. He back pedaled into his own lane before being mobbed by his teammates under the basket.

There were 11 ties and 13 lead changes and neither team had a lead that reached double figures. Marquette shot 55% and Xavier shot 54%.

Scruggs scored 29 points to lead the Musketeers (8-0, 1-0 Big East Conference), who had not played since Dec. 9. Kunkel, a transfer from Belmont who expected to sit out this season, added 22 points and Nate Johnson had 14.

Garcia and McEwen both had 20 points for the Golden Eagles (5-4, 1-2). Theo John added 14 points.

Xavier takes on Creighton on the road on Wednesday. Marquette plays Villanova at home on Wednesday.