The Wisconsin Badgers took care of business at home with a decisive 63-53 win over Minnesota Saturday at teh Kohl Center. The win was highlighted by a terrific game from Frank Kaminsky, and the Badgers were also very tough on defense -- Minnesota's leading scorer, Andre Hollins, was held to two points off 1-of-8 shooting.
1. Frank Kaminsky
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Recap: Wisconsin wins border battle vs. Minnesota
The Badgers won their 10th straight game as Frank Kaminsky and Bronson Koenig led the way.
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As stated, Kaminsky put on a clinic. The Wooden Award candidate, like he usually does, came out ready to perform. Kaminsky's ability to drive and dish is masterful, and makes him impossible to defend. His 12 first-half points helped the Badgers claim a 37-28 lead heading into the break. In the second half, Kaminsky continued his success by utilizing that spin move and getting to the rim, finishing with 21 points. He also played terrific defense and stifled Minnesota's Maurice Walker.
2. Bo Ryan
The Naismith Hall of Fame finalist proved why he is considered among the country's best coaches. I would be the first to say that I have been critical of Ryan's use of subs as of late, but in the first half he proved me wrong. Instead of throwing Zak Showalter, Duje Dukan and Vitto Brown onto the court at the same time, he put one or two in to prevent Minnesota from storming back. He also rallied the Badgers with a critical timeout once the Gophers cut their lead to 22-21. Wisconsin never looked back, and Ryan's discipline is a major factor for the Badgers currently sitting No. 9 in the country in points allowed and No. 1 with the fewest fouls per game.
3. Silky-smooth jumpers
Wow, I think watching Bronson Koenig shoot put me to sleep for a little bit there. His impact on this team during Traevon Jackson's absence has been quite the story. In four out of his last four games, Koenig has averaged double-digit points per game and at least 50 percent from three-point range. Against Minnesota, he again was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc to go along with 16 points.
And how can I forget Nigel Hayes and Josh Gasser? They each contributed with some beautiful floaters of their own. Hayes finished 4-of-8 from the field and Gasser 3-of-5.