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MADISON, Wis. – Back in his home state and playing against program known for its shut-down defense, Troy Huff had a career night.
Most games, getting 37 points on 15-of-22 shooting from Huff might be enough for North Dakota to beat No. 12 Wisconsin.
Except on Tuesday night, when big man Frank Kaminsky scored a school-record 43 and the Badgers shot a blistering 59 percent in a 103-85 win.
"Just like Kaminsky, he had it rolling," North Dakota coach Brian Jones said about Huff. "When you're banking 3s in, it's probably a pretty good day."
Remarkably, Kaminsky had a better one.
A junior who became a starter this season, Kaminsky got the record with about a minute left after driving the lane and splitting two defenders for an easy layup. He broke the school record of 42 points held by Ken Barnes (1965) and Michael Finley (1994).
Sam Dekker added a season-high 19 for the Badgers (4-0), who overcame a career-high 37 points — 26 in the first half — from athletic sharpshooter Troy Huff.
Kaminsky's dunk helped Wisconsin gradually turn its 10-point halftime lead into a 76-59 advantage on North Dakota (1-1) with 10:32 left.
"When those first couple of shots went in, I kind of said 'I'm feeling it,'" Kaminsky said. "I kept shooting and it kept going in."
Huff added nine rebounds and three steals. Jaron Nash added 19 points, while Aaron Anderson had 11.
The Badgers came out victorious after Kaminsky and Huff traded buckets much of the night. Kaminsky finished 16 of 19 shooting, hitting all six of his 3s.
North Dakota allowed Wisconsin to shoot 60 percent on 3s (18 of 30). Jones' club tried to keep pace, shooting 54 percent from the field (36 of 66) and 61 percent (17 of 28) from 3-point range.
Lost in the excitement over Kaminsky's outburst — his previous career high was 19 __ was a subpar defensive effort for the Badgers, who had trouble containing North Dakota off the dribble. Or Huff from anywhere on the court, for that matter.
Given that Huff is from Milwaukee, and his mother, Theresa Huff, is the Wisconsin women's basketball career rebounding leader, it would make sense that Huff would want to play well in Madison.
And as if he needed any more incentive, Jones decided to sit his first-stringers, including Huff, to start the game.
"We didn't take it negatively. We just came out today and we knew those (second-string) guys could perform just as well as us," Huff said. "We took it and ran with."
It worked, to a point.
The more talented Badgers wore down North Dakota on the offensive end. Dekker in transition went behind the back on the dribble, split two defenders and threw in a one-handed dunk for a 60-47 lead early in the second half.
Bronson Koenig hit an open 3 from the wing after Huff couldn't close out after appearing to get a cramp in his left leg for a 12-point lead.
North Dakota hung around, but by the latter part of the second half, the game was all about whether Kaminsky would make school history.
A week after limiting Florida to 53 points, Wisconsin went up and down the Kohl Center court with a Big Sky Conference team with the 7-foot Kaminsky unlikely leading the way. Sure Kaminsky had 16 points last week in a win over Green Bay, but few fans saw this outburst coming.
"The last two games what I've seen, he's really come of age and they've really shown a lot of confidence in him," Jones said. "The way they shoot the ball already and spread the floor with the other four guys, it makes them that much harder to guard."
Kaminsky went to the bench with about 5 minutes left with 41 points, prompting groans from the Wisconsin student section. "We want Frank! We Want Frank!" they chanted before a timeout with 3 minutes left.
They got their wish.
Kaminsky got a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd after setting the record, and some good-natured heckling after the game from teammates Dekker and Traevon Jackson (14 points, eight assists).
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP