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Birthday Bucket: Marquette's Kam Jones drops 34 points in route over Xavier

Kam Jones
Posted at 8:18 AM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 09:18:43-05

MILWAUKEE — On his 22nd birthday, Kam Jones gifted seventh-ranked Marquette a 34-point performance to help the Golden Eagles route Xavier 88-64 Sunday evening.

Jones matched his career-high from Wednesday night's game against DePaul.

The junior guard told reporters post game that head coach Shaka Smart jokingly reminded him earlier this week about last year's game against DePaul, which landed on his 21st birthday.

While he led the Golden Eagles with 22 points in that game, none of those came in the second half.

“(Shaka Smart) was like, last year we were up 24 at halftime and won by 11, and then he pointed at me and was like you had 22 points at halftime," Jones began to chuckle. "Then he said you didn’t piss a drop in the second half, so it motivated me to just go out and stay aggressive.”

Smart attributed Jones' hot hand to being present in the moment rather than forcing shots.

"It sounds really over simplified, but you can't be good when you're in the past or in the future mentally," Smart explained. "When you are here in the moment and the ball comes to you and you can shoot the ball like (Jones) or attack adn finish around the basket like him, then great things are going to happen."

Along with Jones' career-night. Marquette had four starters finish in double figures: Oso Ighodaro (12), Tyler Kolek (11), and David Joplin (10).

Kolek was on near triple-double watch finishing with 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. 

Trey Green led Xavier with 16 points.

Marquette returns to Fiserv Forum on Wednesday for a game against Providence (18-9, 9-7 BIG EAST). Tip is set for 6 p.m.