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No. 4 Wisconsin opens up Big Ten play by topping Penn State

Jan 1, 2015 - 6:10 AM Madison, WI ( - Nigel Hayes led four players in double figures with 21 points, and No. 4 Wisconsin kept rolling with an 89-72 decision over Penn State in the Big Ten opener for both programs.

Frank Kaminsky picked up 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Badgers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten), while Sam Dekker had 17 points and Traevon Jackson totaled 16.

"One of our goals the last three years I've been here is to win a Big Ten title, and we haven't done that yet," said Kaminsky. "So we have to approach every single game like it's a championship game, because to be champions we have to play like champions every game."

D.J. Newbill poured in a game-high 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting for the Nittany Lions (12-2, 0-1). Geno Thorpe and Shep Garner both picked 11 points in defeat.

"Obviously, we ran into a bus. They're really good. You take one thing away, they go to the next thing," Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers said. "Give them a lot of credit for sharing the basketball and doing the little things that they do."

Thorpe's triple gave Penn State a 30-27 edge with 6:02 left in the first half, then Wisconsin slowly began to assert itself. The hosts scored nine in a row from there to go up by six on a free throw from Duje Dukan, then a Hayes trey later on boosted the lead to 41-34.

Hayes added two more from the line before a Ross Travis layup pulled the Nittany Lions within 43-36 at the half.

Dekker's bucket to begin the second half was answered by a shot from Brandon Taylor, and the seven-point deficit just over a minute into the period was the smallest Penn State encountered for the remainder of the contest.

After Dekker's jumper less than a minute later pushed the Badgers' lead to 10, Jackson hit a triple and Hayes finished off a three-point play to make it 54-38 less than four minutes in.

Thorpe's layup with 13:58 on the clock reduced the visitors' deficit below double digits for the final time at 54-45, as an 11-2 Wisconsin run ensued. Kaminsky converted a pair of free throws for a 65-47 margin, then his layup with 8:06 on the clock pushed the Badgers' lead to 20 for the first time.

Wisconsin's largest lead of the game was 22, on a Dekker bucket with 7:35 left which provided a 73-51 advantage.

The Badgers scored the game's first six points before a brief burst from the Nittany Lions, ending on a Donovon Jack slam, made it 15-14 in Penn State's favor.

A Travis basket with 8:59 left in the first half put PSU up 21-18.

Game Notes

Wisconsin shot a scorching 70 percent from the floor (14-of-20) in the second half and finished the game at 63.8 percent efficiency (30-of-47) ... Penn State shot 64 percent (16-of-25) in the first half to stay in the contest, but converted just 13-of-29 field goals in the final 20 minutes ... The Badgers head to Northwestern on Sunday and the Nittany Lions play at Rutgers on Saturday.