November 18, 2008
Leuer, Landry help UW dominate the Cougars
Madison, Wis. - Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan hinted last week that sophomore forward Jon Leuer was putting good use to his practice time and was having his way against his teammates. On Tuesday night, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville found out exactly what Ryan was talking about.
Leuer came off the bench in the early stages of the first half and paced the Badger scoring with 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field. His performance, as well as three other UW double-digit scorers, led his team to a convincing 88-58 thrashing of SIUE.
Leuer not only hit shots from the perimeter, but also found ways to score from inside the paint, including three powerful dunks.
"It was one of those nights where he got some things going," Ryan said following the win. "He had better balance and made better decisions with the ball and that's what we look for."
The Badgers jumped out to a 25-12 lead on the heels of seven quick Leuer points with just over eight minutes to play in the first half. From that point on, SIUE, who was playing its fourth game in five days, was unable to recover, or find a solution for Leuer.
"To be honest, like I said before, just trying to be assertive," Leuer said. "I was open in some spots and I was able to get some easy ones right away which kind of got my rhythm going, and that's a big part of it-getting your rhythm."
The Cougars, whose leading scorer Mark Yelovich failed to make the trip due to a family emergency, were hard-pressed to find any pace to its game the entire night. SIUE did have three players score in double digits, but when many of those shots were finding the net, the game was already out of hand.
"I just thought that legs wise we were dead," SIUE head coach Lennox Forrester said. "And that's not taking credit away from the Badgers because I think they're a very good team. But I thought effort-wise, we weren't totally there because it's been a long week."
Marcus Landry may have had something to do with that. Once again, he proved his worth as a pre-season all-conference player with a 15-point, five-block performance. His defensive capability down low was a huge boost for the Badgers, and, in turn, forced the Cougars to settle for many long-range shots.
"I'm not really focusing on one thing," Landry said. "I'm trying to do several things that you know you're good at. I actually felt like a freshman again, to be honest, just blocking shots and contributing that way."
Coming out of the locker room with a 40-21 lead, UW's defense tightened up while its offense heated up. The Badgers shot a blistering 74.1 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes and pounded the Cougars in the paint 46-16 throughout the game. Overall, UW's bench players scored 40 points on a night that 12 players chipped in points.
"Once the game got away from them, we just tried to make sure that we were running our stuff," Ryan said. "We didn't care who was scoring and we never have. We never get too high or too low, but I like the fact that we moved the ball, we made hard cuts, we touched the post and we didn't get screwy with our decision-making."
Up next, the Badgers will board a plane and jet down to the Virgin Islands where they will play Iona Thursday night in the opening round of the Paradise Jam tournament.
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