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Landry leads Wisconsin to win in season opener

Nov 17, 2008 - 2:14 AM MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Marcus Landry led Wisconsin to a winning - albeit shaky - start to the season.

Landry scored a career-high 23 points Sunday as the 21st-ranked Badgers posted a 68-61 victory over Long Beach State in their season opener.

Jason Bohannon added 12 points for Wisconsin (1-0), which held a tenuous 62-61 edge over the lowly 49ers with under a minute remaining.

That was when Badgers coach Bo Ryan turned to Landry, who sank a 3-pointer to give Wisconsin a 65-61 edge with 30 seconds remaining.

Landry turned in the key defensive play of the game on the ensuing possession, blocking Donovan Morris' layup attempt into the stands to preserve Wisconsin's lead.

"Those are the things I do in practice and that I try to imitate when it comes to the game," the senior 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."

"Marcus was the guy that delivered in the paint," Ryan added. "That didn't come easy ... but I just think that Marcus was the guy that figured some things out before anyone else did."

After Long Beach State's Stephan Gilling missed a 3-pointer, Trevon Hughes sank a pair of free throws to give the Badgers a 67-61 cushion with 10 seconds left.

Bohannon made a free throw six seconds later to provide the final margin.

Morris scored 12 points to pace Long Beach State (0-2), which shot just 42 percent (13-of-31) from the floor in the second half.

Two days after dropping a 75-65 decision to Brigham Young in Provo, the 49ers got off to a decent start Sunday at the Kohl Center and faced a manageable 36-33 halftime deficit.

But Long Beach State ultimately could not contain Landry, who also chipped in four rebounds and three blocks.

"Obviously we didn't have an answer for Landry," Long Beach State coach Dan Monson said. "He was just so strong inside that he was able to post us up and really do damage, as a senior does."

Morris, a preseason all-Big West Conference selection, scored 10 points over a three-minute stretch in the second half that drew the 49ers within 57-55 with 7:03 remaining.

Arturas Lazdauskas made a layup two minutes later to forge a 57-57 tie, but Landry sank a jumper with 3:36 remaining to give Wisconsin the lead for good at 59-57.

Wisconsin shot just 36 percent (9-of-25) after the break but made 12-of-17 second-half free throws to improve to 53-4 in non-conference home games under Ryan.

"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 and make them have to work," 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 we were. But it was a grinder."