Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Frank Kaminsky posted 16 points and 11 rebounds and third-ranked Wisconsin put forth a smothering defensive display to roll to a 62-31 season-opening rout of Northern Kentucky.
After receiving rings for last season's Final Four appearance during a celebratory pregame ceremony, the Badgers were all business after the opening tip. Wisconsin held the undermanned Norse to a paltry 26.4 percent shooting effort and tied the fewest points allowed in a game in Bo Ryan's 14-year tenure as head coach.
"It's very difficult to have film to look at (this early in the season)," said Ryan. "Each game that we play, we get more footage. Each time we can see the opposition, the more footage we get on them. For the first time out playing a regulation game, it was pretty much what you expect -- similar to a lot of other first games we've had. (There were) some good spots, (and) some rough spots."
No Northern Kentucky (0-1) player scored in double figures, with Daniel Camps leading the Norse with eight points.
"What a special opportunity for our kids to play in this environment," said Northern Kentucky coach Dave Bezold. "It's our third year in Division I so we're in transition and whenever we get into a place that has a history in basketball and tradition like this, we're going to go and play there so we're very, very thankful for those guys to let us come and play."
Sam Dekker added 15 points and Nigel Hayes pulled down 10 rebounds for Wisconsin (1-0), which returns four starters from the 2013-14 West Regional championship squad and received the highest preseason national ranking in program history.
Northern Kentucky, entering only its third season as a Division I program and coming off a 9-21 campaign, hung tough early on as the Badgers got off to a somewhat slow start before stifling the Norse the rest of the way.
Camps followed a 3-pointer from Tyler White with a layup to get Northern Kentucky within 21-15 with five minutes left in the first half, but the Norse didn't record a point over the remainder of the period.
Wisconsin ended the frame on a 7-0 run to grab a 28-15 advantage at the break, then netted seven straight points to begin the second half to extend the lead to 20.
As the Norse continued to miss shots, the Badgers turned the game into a laugher with a 21-2 sequence.
Dekker had eight points during the stretch, which Kaminsky capped with a steal and layup that put Wisconsin up 60-23 with five minutes left to play.
Wisconsin last held an opponent to 31 points in an 85-31 win over Kennesaw State -- the only other Atlantic Sun Conference team the Badgers have ever faced -- on Nov. 12, 2011 ... Badgers forward Duje Dukan sat out the game due to an eligibility issue ... Wisconsin has won 13 straight season openers by an average of 28.2 points per game ... The Norse finished 2-of-16 on 3-point attempts and were just 1-of-5 from the free throw line.