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Badgers hold off Oral Roberts 76-67

MADISON, Wis. -- Oral Roberts wasn't supposed to be a team that could just walk into the Kohl Center, where Wisconsin was 93-7 against non-conference foes, and shoot the ball well enough to win. Don't tell that to the Badgers, who saw the Golden Eagles give them a scare after shooting 55 percent from the field Saturday night.

After his 21-point performance against Oral Roberts, Kaminsky is averaging 26 points per game over his last three outings.

Despite the hot shooting from Oral Roberts (2-3), No. 12 Wisconsin (6-0) hung on for a 76-67 victory, their third win in five days. The Badgers improved to 6-0 for just the second time under Head Coach Bo Ryan and the first since 2011-2012.

Center Frank Kaminsky continued to his impressive week, scoring a team-high 21 points (8-16) and six rebounds. After scoring a school record 43 points against North Dakota on Tuesday, the junior finished out the week averaging 26 points per game, up from his season average of 19.0 points per game.

"It was really great to see Frank come into his own this week," Traevon Jackson said.

Wisconsin began the game on an 11-2 run, led by Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, who combined for nine of the 11. The Badgers quickly opened up a 28-11 lead over Oral Roberts as Ben Brust and Josh Gasser got into scoring act on the perimeter. The duo combined for 13 points during an eight minute stretch in the first half.

Oral Roberts put together a 9-0 run late in the first half to get within seven at 35-28 with 1:29 remaining. The Golden Eagles got a terrific effort from Forward Shawn Glover, who scored a game high 24 points, just four shy of his career record. At the same time, Wisconsin hit a cold spell, missing six consecutive shots in a four minute stretch, which was eventually broken up by Gasser, who scored the half's final points with a layup. Gasser had nine points at the break for Wisconsin, who took a 37-28 lead into the locker room.

Kaminsky led the way with 12 points in the first half as the Badgers shot 15-32 (46%) from the field, but just 4-13 (30%) from 3-point range. Coming into the game, Oral Roberts ranked No. 199 in the nation, shooting 44.0 percent from the field as a team, but actually out-shot the Badgers in the first half, going 11-21 (52%) from the field.

The junior center continued to carried the load in the second half, scoring five of Wisconsin's first seven points, however the Badgers failed to create any separation from Oral Roberts, who stayed within nine at 44-35. Wisconsin would get rolling briefly, putting the Golden Eagles at bay 54-39, but Oral Roberts came right back with an 8-0 run of their own to pull within 54-47 with just over 12 minutes to go.

It was a 66-62 game with just over three minutes remaining as Glover continued to shoot the lights out and put Oral Roberts within striking distance. Glover scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half and shot 10-16 from the field overall. The Badgers got two free throws from Ben Brust, followed by an easy basket from Gasser to push their lead to eight.

Jackson dished out seven assists Saturday night.

Oral Roberts would stay within striking distance after a 3-pointer from Bobby World that cut Wisconsin's lead down to five, however the Golden Eagles wouldn't get any close. The Badgers salted the game away with six consecutive free throws, including four from Traevon Jackson as Wisconsin held on for a 76-67 victory, their sixth-straight to begin the season.

Gasser (15), Brust (12), Jackson (11), and Dekker (10) also scored in double figures for the Badgers. It was the second-straight game in which Wisconsin's entire starting five scored in double figures.

Wisconsin resumes action on Tuesday against St. Louis as part of the Cancun Challenge in Mexico.

Game Ball: Frank Kaminsky

Kaminsky led Wisconsin with 21 points. The junior didn't have a strong second half, but made a couple of key baskets late. Kaminsky also grabbed six rebounds Saturday night.

Key Numbers

12: The Badgers grabbed a season-high 12 offensive rebounds against Oral Roberts.

15: With Josh Gasser scoring 15 points Saturday night, all five of Wisconsin's starters are now averaging double figures in scoring.

17:6 After his seven assists to just two turnovers against Oral Roberts, Traevon Jackson finished the week with 17 assists to just six turnovers in three games.

78: Center Frank Kaminsky scored 78 points during Wisconsin's three games this week.

What We Learned

We learned Frank Kaminsky is Wisconsin's go-to player right now. When the Badgers needed a bucket, they went down low to the junior center. Kaminsky boosted his scoring average to a team leading 17.3 points per game Saturday night as well. In his last three games, Kaminsky is averaging 26 points per contest.

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