MADISON — Wisconsin didn't waste a ton of time getting down to business against Coppin State.
The Badgers scored 11 unanswered points, including six in a row from sophomore Jon Leuer, to build an early double-digit lead before the second media timeout. They kept that margin most of the rest of the way to cruise to a 57-46 victory over the Eagles Saturday night at the Kohl Center.
Leuer finished with a game-high 16 points and got help from junior guard Jason Bohannon and senior forward Marcus Landry, who each finished with 11.
Sixteen points was Leuer’s high since he scored 17 against Virginia Tech, and came against an unsuspecting Coppin State.
“We weren’t looking for him to hurt us,” Coppin State head coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell said. “He came in off the bench and did a real good job of scoring for them. He’s a nice player and that’s a luxury to have with someone like him coming off the bench.”
Shortly after entering the game, Leuer scored on back-to-back possessions off nice cuts to the hoop and passes from Landry, who finished with four assists against no turnovers.
“Marcus was like Meadowlark Lemon when [the Harlem Globetrotters] used to feed the post and he’d hit guys going backdoor,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said. “I’m not saying that to be comical, that’s what it looked like. Marcus did a great job of finding guys.”
Later, Tim Jarmusz found Leuer open at the free throw line for a mid-range jump shot.
After Coppin State’s Brian Chestnut made one of two free throws to break up Wisconsin’s 11-point run, Leuer scored four more points unanswered with a layin off a Keaton Nankivil assist and another jumper, giving the Badgers a 14-point lead, their biggest to that point.
“It made it easy with these guys finding me,” Leuer said. “I was open in some spots and my teammates found me.”
Leuer also had six rebounds as the Badgers (9-2) dominated the glass. Joe Krabbenhoft grabbed eight boards and Bohannon and Jarmusz pulled down in five a piece. The Eagles, meanwhile, grabbed just six rebounds in the first half, all of them defensive.
For the game, Wisconsin outrebounded Coppin State 36-19, including a 12 to four edge on the offensive boards. That allowed the Badgers to outscore the Eagles 17-0 on second-chance points and limit the Coppin State’s opportunities to cut into the deficit.
“It’s getting the job done,” Landry said. “The stats show that we were hungry on the boards and outrebounding them and things like that. … Sometimes it’s all about how hungry you are, how much you want it.”
Coppin State (1-7) switched defenses throughout the game, but it didn’t seem to phase Wisconsin. The Badgers finished with an offensive efficiency of 1.09 and generally were able to get good looks no matter the defense the Eagles threw at them.
“Those are the things we had the scout team do also. … Recognition, ball fakes,” Ryan said. “I thought we got the ball in some places where we gave ourselves a great opportunity to shoot 50, 55 percent.”
All told, Coppin State used six different zones and played a little bit of man-to-man. Wisconsin shot 46.3 percent from the field despite connecting on just five of 21 threes.
“Sometimes we changed defenses and confused ourselves and got some breakdowns in those situations,” Mitchell said. “You see those thunder dunks, (because) people were supposed to be somewhere else.”
Happy Birthday Bo: Saturday was Ryan’s 61st, his "Roger Maris" as he called it, birthday. He’s probably happy just getting a win, which is good. He didn’t get much of anything else from his team.
“I got him the same thing he got me for mine,” Landry cracked. Nothing.