Andy Manis
December 28, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) Frank Kaminsky had his usual stellar night for No. 6 Wisconsin. When his teammates found their stroke in the second half, the Badgers cruised right by Buffalo.

Kaminsky had 25 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots, leading Wisconsin to a 68-56 victory over the pesky Bulls on Sunday.

''He was steady,'' Badgers coach Bo Ryan said of his senior star. ''I'd like to see five, six, seven guys every night be a steady influence. But that's hard.''

Sam Dekker scored each of his 13 points in the second half for Wisconsin (12-1), which opens Big Ten play on Wednesday against Penn State.

Kaminsky said the Badgers weren't moving the ball well early on. But he said they picked up the pace in the second half.

After shooting 31 percent in the first half, the Badgers shot 55.6 percent in the second half, including a big turnaround at the 3-point line. After hitting just 2 of 11 in the first half, Wisconsin was 4 for 9 from long range in the final part of the game.

Dekker was 3 for 7 from long range.

''We were kind of dead in the first half, not moving much,'' Kaminsky said. ''Once we started moving, playing with energy, things opened up for us.''

Other than Kaminsky, the Badgers had a poor first half. While the forward went 5 of 10 from the field, the rest of the team was 5 of 22. Wisconsin trailed 27-26 at the break, only the second time this season the Badgers faced a deficit at half.

Buffalo, meanwhile, had success with guard Lamonte Bearden using his quickness to beat defenders to the hoop.

But in addition to playing better on offense in the second half, the Badgers also clamped down on the Bulls' penetration.

Wisconsin grabbed control with a 14-0 run. Nigel Hayes tied it at 34 before hitting a 3-pointer on the Badgers' next possession that drew cheers from what had been a lethargic crowd.

Kaminsky completed the run with a three-point play, and Wisconsin held onto a double-digit lead until it briefly dipped below 10 with almost a minute left.

The Badgers also stepped it up defensively, blocking seven shots in the second half and finishing the game with nine. Buffalo coach Bobby Hurley said the 7-foot Kaminsky rotated to the Bulls' dribble penetration, making it difficult to finish over his size.

''He gave us a lot of trouble converting at the rim,'' Hurley said

Justin Moss led four Bulls (7-3) in double figures with 14 points. Bearden finished with 13, Shannon Evans scored 12 points and Xavier Ford had 11.

TIP-INS

Buffalo: Jarryn Skeete sat out after rolling his ankle in practice. Hurley said the junior guard, the team's third-leading scorer at almost 11 points a game, is day to day. ... Evans was 3 for 5 from 3-point range. ... The Bulls have faced two teams from last season's Final Four. They also lost 71-52 to Kentucky last month.

Wisconsin: The Badgers have seven wins against teams in the RPI top 100. In addition to Buffalo, they have defeated Oklahoma, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Boise State, Georgetown, Cal and Marquette.

UP NEXT

Buffalo: Visits Binghamton on Tuesday.

Wisconsin: Hosts Penn State on Wednesday.

RYAN GRUMBLES

On several occasions, Buffalo's players drove the lane, created contact and questioned the referees after not getting the call. Fielding a question about how the Badgers defended Buffalo's drives, Ryan stressed it should be a no-call when the offensive player jumps into the defender, creating the contact.

''It still bothers me that there's still a lot of that going on,'' Ryan said, adding later, ''That's something we've got to get cleared up going into the league.''

You May Like