Kaminsky scores 26 as No. 3 Wisconsin beats Boise

Associated Press

November 23, 2014

 
Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes (10) dunks in front of Boise State's Nick Duncan during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 78-54.

MADISON Frank Kaminsky's first shot felt good. Same for the next one. And the next one. And so on.

Kaminsky scored 26 points on 11-of-13 shooting to lead No. 3 Wisconsin over Boise State 78-54 Saturday night. The 7-footer went 4 for 5 from 3-point range, and seemed just as comfortable with a fadeaway or on the fast break.

"It just goes with my versatility to my game," Kaminsky said. "It's just something I try to do. I try to build if A's not open, go to B. If B's not open, go to C. That's one of the things I was able to show tonight."

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said the performance was a result of how Kaminsky has matured physically and mentally as a player. He also had five rebounds, an assist, three blocks and two steals.

"It's awfully nice to have a big who can pass, who can make good decisions, who can help defend," Ryan said. "His all-around game just keeps getting better."

Nigel Hayes scored 15 for the Badgers (4-0), and Traevon Jackson added 11.

Wisconsin's Duje Dukan, center, battles between Boise State's Anthony Drmic (3) and Kevin Allen (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Madison, Wis.

Derrick Marks led Boise State (3-1) with 16 points.

The Broncos were able to hang with Wisconsin early, even though they shot poorly from the floor and leading scorer Anthony Drmic had an off night. Part of that was because Boise State was aggressive on the boards. The Broncos outrebounded Wisconsin in the first half 14-13, and six of those were offensive rebounds.

But eventually the accurate shooting of Kaminsky and the rest of the Badgers proved too much. Kaminsky hit all seven shots he took in the first half, including three 3-pointers, and the Badgers shot almost 63 percent before halftime. They finished at 55 percent for the game.

Drmic leads Boise State at almost 21 points per game. But Wisconsin shut him down in the first half, as he went 1 of 7 for two points. The Badgers continually switched on the 6-foot-6 Drmic, who was guarded by anyone from the 6-3 Jackson to Kaminsky. Drmic finished with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky, behind, blocks a shot by Boise State's Anthony Drmic during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Madison, Wis.

Boise State coach Leon Rice said the Broncos weren't clicking on offense. Part of it was a credit to Wisconsin's defense, which was allowing just 45 points per game coming in best in the Big Ten. Another factor, Rice said, is that the Broncos are trying to gel with a half-dozen new players. He noted they had only eight assists on 21 field goals.

"We're a good basketball team when we set each other up, and we're not doing a good enough job of that right now," Rice said. "When guys get Anthony shots, he'll make them."

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Wisconsin's Treason Jackson shoots against Boise State's Derrick Marks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Madison, Wis.

TIP-INS

Wisconsin: Under Ryan, the Badgers have built a reputation for winning at the free throw line and that's been the early trend this season as well. Coming in, Wisconsin was averaging almost 27 free throws per game, while Badgers opponents had taken just 33. But the Broncos did a good job of keeping Wisconsin off the line. The Badgers took just six foul shots, making all of them.

Boise State: The Broncos are 0-8 against Big Ten schools. ... It was the third time Boise State played a top-3 team. Both previous matchups, against No. 3 Cincinnati in 1999 and No. 2 UCLA in 1978, were losses.

UP NEXT

Wisconsin plays UAB on Wednesday in the Bahamas.

Boise State hosts Idaho on Tuesday.

NO PROBLEMS HERE

Ryan has built his program with four-year players, not one-and-dones. He suggested that might be one reason the Badgers have also been fairly drama-free. "I don't have the problems that other people talk about with players who are immature: 'Well, I didn't get this. Well, I didn't get that.' Maybe they do, but they don't do it around me," Ryan said.