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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW rips IPFW in home opener

Junior forward Jon Leuer scored a game-high 19 points while grabbing six rebounds in the UW win.[/media-credit]

Against an undersized, overmatched and shorthanded Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne squad Sunday, the Wisconsin Badgers cruised to a 75-46 victory in their season opener at the Kohl Center.

It was clear from the opening tip the Mastodons were no match for head coach Bo Ryan’s squad, and their lack of depth due to injuries, sickness and suspension did not help.

“We were very much shorthanded tonight,” IPFW head coach Dane Fife said. “The way we defended tonight, they could have scored 150 on us. … Wisconsin is just a formidable force.”


Junior forward Jon Leuer led the way for the Badgers offensively, scoring 19 points while hitting 8-of-10 shots from the floor and 3-for-3 at the free-throw line. Leuer also added six rebounds, which was second-most on the team.

Wisconsin took advantage of IPFW’s poor shooting performance in the first half (29.6 percent), as the Badgers jumped out to a 39-18 halftime lead. Leuer scored 12 of his 19 in the first half, and the UW defense stopped the Mastodons from getting into any rhythm.

The Badgers spread the ball around well in the first half, getting points from seven of nine players who saw the court in the period. Junior Tim Jarmusz shot the ball well before halftime, hitting a pair of 3-point baskets while grabbing four rebounds.

Jarmusz finished the game with nine points, as he added another from beyond the arc while leading the Badgers with seven rebounds.

“Tim does a great job of finding the open area,” senior guard Jason Bohannon said. “He makes himself so available by getting his hands high. He’s an easy target to find out there, especially when he’s hitting shots like that.”

Bohannon added a big 3-pointer of his own as time winded down in the first half.

Sophomore guard Jordan Taylor took the ball up court, but was unable to get an open shot before finding Bohannon alone in the corner. The 6-foot-2 guard drained the shot, putting the Badgers up by 21 heading to the locker room.

“He got that ball around the free-throw line and was able to turn and see the rim,” Ryan said of Taylor. “We always tell them ‘Go!’, because the best way to score is the open floor. … He forced the guy to play him in the middle of the floor and he finds J-Bo in the corner.”

Coming out of the break, it was all Wisconsin.

The Badgers extended their 7-0 run to end the half to a 19-0 run over the first 5:39 of the second period. According to Leuer, it was all about not turning the ball over.

“We just took care of the ball, that’s the main thing,” he said. “We know if we take care of the ball, and every guy that’s out there is unselfish and willing to move the ball around, we know we’re going to get good shots.”

What worked for Wisconsin during that seven-plus-minute stretch was exactly what the Badgers didn’t do over the next few minutes of play. UW started turning the ball over in an uncharacteristically frequent manner, leading Ryan to make some changes.

One of those was subbing in junior walk-on guard Wquinton Smith, who Ryan believed could do a better job of taking care of the ball. In six minutes of play, Smith did not turn the ball over while grabbing a pair of steals on the defensive end.

“He doesn’t try to do things that he can’t,” Ryan said of Smith. “We needed something after that one blip on the screen in there. I thought they were going to have to … put nets up around the court because I was afraid we’d throw so many balls away, and if it were baseball (where) they can keep the ball, we wouldn’t have any balls left.”

Wisconsin recovered from its turnover woes, though, and held off any hopes of an IPFW comeback. Ryan returned his starters to the lineup after resting them with a 33-point lead, and they built the lead back up from 25 to 31 with three minutes remaining.

According to senior guard Trevon Hughes, the Badgers’ mentality allowed them to battle back from their struggles midway through the second half.

“When times get rough, don’t fold, don’t wilt like we did last year in the last eight minutes when times started getting tough,” Hughes said. “We’re trying to get shots at the basket, and we’ve just got to take better care of the ball.”

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