MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin got Frank Kaminsky back and may have found a capable replacement for Traevon Jackson.
Kaminsky scored 22 points in his return from a concussion that sidelined him a game to help No. 6 Wisconsin beat Nebraska 70-55 on Thursday night.
Bronson Koenig filled in well for Jackson, who hurt his ankle Sunday in the Badgers; loss at Rutgers. The sophomore scored 11 points and had one assist.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said Kaminsky wanted to go Sunday and he wasn’t surprised by Koenig’s performance.
“He knows what I expect,” Ryan said.
Kaminsky looked sharp early and finished 4 of 5 from 3-point range and 7 of 11 overall as he eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career. He had hit just one of his previous nine 3-point attempts over four games, but figured the law of averages had to catch up.
“You always regress to the mean,” Kaminsky said.
Nigel Hayes scored 13 points for the Badgers (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten), and Sam Dekker added 11.
Wisconsin needed every bit of Kaminsky’s performance early to counter Terran Petteway, who led Nebraska (10-7, 2-3) with 27 points. He had 20 in the first half.
Wisconsin switched defenders on picks set for Petteway, and he repeatedly took advantage of the bigger post players that ended up guarding him in the first half, either driving to the hoop or stepping back for a jumper.
He didn’t get much help, though. The rest of the team shot 10 of 30.
Miles said Petteway’s production dropped in the second half, in part, because he was looking to get his teammates more involved. After taking 13 shots in the first half, he attempted seven in the final period.
Miles also said Wisconsin’s outside shooting torched his game plan to clamp down on the Badgers inside. The Badgers were 8 of 35 from behind the 3-point line the previous two games, but were 11 of 21 Thursday.
“Just philosophically, you can’t let Wisconsin beat you in the post,” Miles said. “If Bo is able to get the ball inside to all those guys, they’ll carve you up 10,000 ways and you’ll sit through a three-hour game with the free throws.”.
Nebraska: Thursday was only the third time this season the Cornhuskers have played with their full lineup. Smith had been sidelined with a torn ACL suffered in July, while Moses Abraham missed seven games with a broken hand.
Wisconsin: Kaminsky became the 18th player in school history to score 1,000 points a week after Dekker became No. 17. Fourteen of the Wisconsin players to score at least 1,000 points in Badgers history have played under Ryan. The next closest players are Josh Gasser (940) and Jackson (827). Jackson had surgery Thursday afternoon and is expected to begin his rehabilitation in two to three weeks. He had started 84 consecutive games.
MILES WANTED ‘ONE RIGHT’.
The referees called a technical foul in the closing seconds of the first half after Miles said something following a Kaminsky shot in the lane. Gasser hit one of the free throws to put Wisconsin up 37-27 at the break. Miles said he told the referees to “get it right.” Get what right? “Most of them. I wanted them to get one of them right,” Miles said. Nebraska cut the lead to four early in the second half, but a 13-0 Wisconsin run blew the game open.
It was a late arrival in Madison for the Cornhuskers — or an early one. The plane that was supposed to take the team to Madison Wednesday night didn’t make it to Lincoln because of mechanical troubles. After securing another plane, the team took off after 2 a.M. Thursday and finally got to its hotel about 4 a.M. Miles said he didn’t believe the travel problems contributed to Nebraska’s play.
Nebraska: Hosts Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Wisconsin: Hosts Iowa on Tuesday night.