Wisconsin 50, Manhattan 35
Wisconsin got an early taste of a grinding postseason game.
Jon Leuer had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Josh Gasser added 12 points and Wisconsin overcame a lackluster start to beat Manhattan 50-35 on Thursday in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic.
''In order to be successful through a tournament, whether it's a preseason type tournament, a conference tournament or an NCAA tournament, you've got to survive these kind of games,'' Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. ''And then when you get to the next one you try not to have the same thing happen twice.''
Leuer had seven points during a 12-4 run that put Wisconsin up 31-16 with 15 minutes to play. The Badgers later scored 10 consecutive points, including a three-point play by Gasser, to put away the game.
Wisconsin (3-1), coming off a 68-65 loss at UNLV on Saturday night, shot just 36.2 percent (21 of 58). The Badgers averaged 83 points in their first three games.
''The second half we just got more into a rhythm offensively,'' Leuer said.
Michael Alvarado led Manhattan (2-2) with 15 points.
''If you would have told me before the game that we'd be able to, maybe, limit them to 36 percent from the field, I would have felt a lot better about the outcome,'' Manhattan coach Barry Rohrssen said. ''Unfortunately, we couldn't shoot the ball better than that ourselves. So that hurt us.''
Since last season, Leuer has scored in double-digits in 11 straight games.
''He's a tremendous player,'' Rohrssen said. ''A double-double machine.''
Wisconsin struggled en route to an 17-10 halftime lead. The Badgers made 7 of 30 shots, including 1 of 13 from 3-point range, in the opening 20 minutes.
Manhattan didn't fare much better, hitting just 5 of 25 shots during the first half. The Jaspers, however, trailed just 10-8 almost 14 minutes into the game.
''Halftime, it looked like a Thanksgiving football game score instead of a basketball game score,'' Rohrssen said. ''Probably some football teams score more than that today. But neither team shot the ball really well.''
Wisconsin will play Boston College in the winner's bracket Friday.
Manhattan will face Texas A&M, which lost 67-65 to Boston College on Thursday, on Friday in the second round.