Bo’s bunch tops 49ers

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoIt took more effort than expected, but the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (1-0) squeaked by the Long Beach State 49ers (0-2) 68-61 Sunday afternoon at the Kohl Center.The 49ers proved to be a formidable opponent, but UW forward Marcus Landry did everything he could to preserve a Wisconsin victory in its regular season opener.The senior captain scored 23 points, including a three pointer to seal the game for Wisconsin with 30 seconds remaining.The game in its entirety, however, was a struggle on both sides of the court. In the first half, the lead changed eight times, and the score was tied three times.Long Beach State, which hails from the Big West conference, was a serious underdog coming into the game. But with guard Donovan Morris, who averaged 21.2 points per game last season, the Badgers knew they would be challenged.“All those things that sometimes you can get with a team coming in earlier in the year were thrown out the window because they had already done some things,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “What we had to do with the way they were coming back and the way that they are playing now, just everything we heard was that ‘You better get ready for them,’ and, of course, we were.”The way the 49ers kept up with the Badgers was with their stellar first half three-point shooting. Five of Long Beach State’s first six field goals were three pointers.“Our theory is still that shooting percentages can go down as long as you’re making the other team play a little bit of defense,” Ryan said. “We had to make them work to cover us.”The Badgers could not take hold of the lead from the 11:13 mark in the first half until freshman Jordan Taylor served up an alley-oop to Landry to take the lead 32-31 with 1:42 left before halftime. Following the play, Wisconsin began to get into its offensive flow.“I had seen that it was open, and I kind of gave [Taylor] eye contact,” Landry said. “The next thing I knew, the ball was in the air, and I just had to make sure he didn’t get a turnover.”About midway through the second half with the 49ers trailing 53-45, Morris showed the 17,230 fans in attendance why he was picked as the Big West’s preseason player of the year.Morris scored 10 consecutive points for Long Beach State before 49ers forward Arturas Lazdauskas hit a layup to tie the game at 57 points apiece.“He’s a kid that last year, he was our only player. And he had to do that for us to have a chance,” Long Beach State head coach Dan Monson said. “When he gets going, and he gets on a flow, he’s as hard to guard as anyone in the country.”In response to Morris, the Badgers turned to their own star — Landry.With Wisconsin only up by one point with 1:33 remaining in the game, guard Trevon Hughes drove the lane and kicked out a pass in traffic to set up Landry’s game-sealing three pointer.“Those are the things I do in practice, that I try to do in practice and that I try to imitate when it comes to the game,” Landry said. “It’s just reading the offense and also reading the defense as far as the shot goes and being in the right place at the right time.”“It was huge. It’s a different story out there without Marcus playing the way he did today,” forward Joe Krabbenhoft said. “I think everyone knows that. He was huge, getting the ball to the post is an easy job, and then he did all the work.”last_img

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