Once the ball gets into the paint, No. 4 Wisconsin can be tough to stop.
Few teams in the country can match the Badgers' athleticism in the frontcourt. Starters Frank Kaminsky, Nigel Hayes and Sam Dekker asserted control in the second half of an 89-72 victory over Penn State on Wednesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams in Madison, Wis.
Kaminsky, a preseason All-America, had 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Hayes paced Wisconsin with 21 points. Dekker added 17 points.
Together, they were a combined 21 of 32 from the field for a squad that shot a blistering 63 percent overall.
"We got paint touches. When we get it into the paint, obviously it puts a strain on the defense trying to stop it," Dekker said.
Wisconsin (13-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) capped an 8-2 run to open the second half with Traevon Jackson's three to make it a 13-point lead with 17 minutes left.
A feel-good start to the season for Penn State (12-2, 0-1) came to a halt. The Nittany Lions had built their best record since 1995 behind D.J. Newbill, the Big Ten's leading scorer at 21.4 points a game.
Newbill finished with 29, but he didn't get enough help. Shep Garner and Geno Thorpe each added 11 points.
Indiana 70, Nebraska 65: In February, Indiana came into Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb., built a 16-point first-half lead, but lost to Nebraska 60-55. On Wednesday, the Hoosiers (11-3, 1-0) blew another 16-point first-half lead, but rebuilt the margin to 13 and held off the Cornhuskers (8-5, 0-1).
"That's a great sign of maturity for us," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "It takes a while for that maturity process to kick, especially when they're away from your bench, on the other end of the floor. We closed the game well. Obviously, they made a comeback at the end."
Nick Zeisloft hit a pair of free throws with 33 seconds left and Collin Hartman added one 21 seconds later to stem Nebraska's comeback and seal the victory for Indiana.