60 - 54 Final
  for this game

Landry helps Wisconsin hold off feisty Iowa

Feb 7, 2008 - 6:48 AM IOWA CITY, Iowa (Ticker) -- Wisconsin's frontcourt helped the Badgers avoid an upset at Iowa.

Marcus Landry had 16 points and Brian Butch added 12 as the eighth-ranked Badgers held on for a close 60-54 victory over the Hawkeyes in Big Ten action on Wednesday.

Wisconsin (19-3, 9-1 Big Ten), which never led by more than six points in the contest, made all 10 of its free-throw attempts in the final 3:39 of the game to help set up a conference showdown this weekend.

"Everybody picked everybody else up," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "We don't treat this game any different than any other."

The Badgers, who moved into a first-place tie with Purdue (9-1) in the Big Ten, will play the Boilermakers on Saturday. Purdue is also the only conference team to have defeated Wisconsin this season.

Wisconsin had to work to get its third straight win in this one, as the Badgers trailed by three points at the break and battled Iowa throughout the second half.

"I don't think you can fault the guys' effort tonight," Iowa coach Todd Lickliter said. "We knew it was going to be a lower-possession game and every possession was going to be very valuable. We had three or four bad decisions and in a game like this it's hard to have those and win.

"I think we did more good things than bad and I'm proud of our guys because they were playing to win."

The final 20 minutes featured seven lead changes, and Iowa held a 44-43 bulge on a free throw by Tony Freeman with 6:29 left.

Landry answered with a pair from the line to give the Badgers a one-point lead and Butch followed with a 3-pointer as Wisconsin opened up a 48-44 lead with 5:13 remaining.

Justin Johnson answered with a shot from the arc to end Iowa's drought without a field goal at nearly nine minutes, but the 48-47 deficit would be as close as it would get in the final 3:44 of the game.

Wisconsin had built its lead back up to five before Jeff Peterson's 3-pointer cut the Iowa deficit to 56-54 with 29 seconds left. However, Joe Krabbenhoft and Landry each made a pair from the line down the stretch to secure the win.

Despite the loss, Lickliter was happy that his team outrebounded Wisconsin, 35-31, and only committed nine turnovers.

"Wisconsin is more of a position-oriented team, good defensive, very sound," Lickliter said. "They just defend. They aren't trying to create a turnover situation. I think it was a good night's work. Anything under 10 is a pretty good night's work."

Wisconsin had a 24-14 edge in points in the paint, and the Badgers held the Hawkeyes to just 26 percent (6-of-23) shooting in the second half.

The first half featured six lead changes as well and Seth Gorney had six points during a 9-2 Iowa run as the Hawkeyes held a 17-12 lead with 6:18 left in the first half.

Freeman's 3-pointer gave Iowa another five-point lead late in the first half but Marcus Landry made a jumper to help Wisconsin close within 29-26 at intermission.

Freeman finished with 18 points on 5-of-16 shooting and Cyrus Tate added 15 and eight rebounds for the Hawkeyes (11-13, 4-7), who have lost 10 of the last 11 meetings with the Badgers.

"We go into every game expecting to win," Freeman said. "It hurts because we were right there. We have to have a short memory ... we have to move on and this Saturday is a must win like all of them are."