Dec. 22 at California: Wisconsin 68 – California 56After a nine-day layoff for finals, the then-No. 6 Badgers handed the Golden Bears just their second loss of the season thanks to a 17-point, 13-rebound effort from Nigel Hayes.The Badgers were a little slow coming out of the gates, and California scored eight straight points about halfway through the first half to cut Wisconsin’s lead to 17-16. After the run by Cal, UW found its rhythm and took a 32-20 lead into halftime.In the second half, UW controlled the game and Cal never got within nine points. The Badgers opened up an 18-point lead with more than four minutes to go in the game that put a win out of reach for the Golden Bears.Both Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker added 14 points for the Badgers, while Kaminsky also hauled in eight rebounds and Dekker added six.Dec. 28 vs. Buffalo: Wisconsin 68 – Buffalo 56In its final game before Big Ten play began, Wisconsin went up against a Buffalo team that gave it a tougher test than it might have expected. Nevertheless, UW pulled out a 68-56 victory behind senior forward Frank Kaminsky’s stellar night where he posted 25 points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocks.The Badgers struggled early on, shooting a low 31 percent from the field in the first half and the Bulls took full advantage, going into halftime with a 27-26 lead over the then-No. 6 Badgers. Wisconsin junior forward Sam Dekker did not score in the first half. This was a Buffalo team that also had a halftime lead against No. 1 Kentucky in just its second game of the season.However, the second half was a much different story. The Badgers regained control of the game with a 14-0 run that put them in the lead for good, and the team shot a much-improved 55.6 percent from the field in the second half. Dekker was able to get going along with the team, as he scored 13 points in the final 20 minutes. No other Badgers scored in double figures.Dec. 31 vs. Penn State: Wisconsin 89 – 72Wisconsin opened up Big Ten play at the Kohl Center with a dominant 89-72 victory over Penn State. The Badgers were led by their starting frontcourt of senior Frank Kaminsky, junior Sam Dekker and sophomore Nigel Hayes.Kaminsky posted yet another double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, while Hayes was the team’s leading scorer with 21 points. Dekker rounded out the frontcourt’s stellar performance with 17 points of his own. En route to combining to score 56 of UW’s 89 points, the three forwards shot an impressive 21-32 (65.6 percent) from the field. Their shooting was contagious, as the entire Badger team shot an astounding 30-47 (63.8 percent). Senior guard Traevon Jackson rounded out the Badgers in double figures scoring 16 points.Defensively, Wisconsin was unable to stop Penn State’s senior guard D.J. Newbill, as he scored a game-high 29 points on 11-18 (61.1 percent) shooting from the field. Fortunately, the Badgers didn’t need to stop him, as they were able to stop everyone else, holding three Penn State starters to four points or less.Jan. 4 at Northwestern: Wisconsin 81 – Northwestern 58Wisconsin’s first road test in the Big Ten was another dominant victory with another Frank Kaminsky double-double. The senior posted 16 points and 10 rebounds in just 24 minutes of play, his seventh double-double of the season, en route to a 23-point victory over Northwestern.Wisconsin did a great job sharing the ball and spreading the wealth, recording 23 assists on 30 made field goals. After opening up a 22-9 lead in the first eight minutes of the game, UW never looked back and continued to build on its lead. For the game, Wisconsin shot 30-57 (52.6 percent) from the field and 12-25 (48 percent) from three-point range.UW also had three other players score in double figures with Sam Dekker matching Kaminsky’s 16, Nigel Hayes scoring 10 while shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field, and Duje Dukan scoring 14 points off the bench for the Badgers.Jan. 7 vs. Purdue: Wisconsin 62 – Purdue 55Wisconsin received a strong test from Purdue and the Boilermakers’ talented frontcourt in its third Big Ten game of the season, but 21 points from Kaminsky and a proficient effort from the free throw line sent UW to its eighth straight win, giving head coach Bo Ryan his school-record 159th Big Ten win.The game was tied at 45 in the second half but the Badgers went on a 9-2 run to take a 54-47 lead with 3:19 left. Wisconsin knocked down its free throws in the final stretch to pull out the victory, making 25 of 31 attempts overall and 15 free throws in the final 9:11. Wisconsin struggled shooting the ball, making only 43.6 percent of its total shots and only 21.4 percent (3-14) from three-point distance.Gasser scored a season-high 15 points for the Badgers including 2-for-4 from three and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Jackson rounded out the Badgers in double-figures with 13 points. Dekker added six points which included a dunk that put him over the 1,000-point mark for his career.Jan. 11 at Rutgers: Wisconsin 62 – Rutgers 67The Badgers’ winter break schedule will likely be remembered by their stunning upset loss to the Scarlet Knights in Piscataway, New Jersey. The then-No. 4 Badgers took a 35-23 lead into halftime, but Rutgers stormed out of the gates in the second half thanks to some hot shooting from beyond the arc to earn their biggest win in program history. Rutgers came into the game last in the Big Ten in three-point shooting but went 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) from three in the second half and 16-for-24 (66.7 percent) overall. Rutgers guard Myles Mack scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the second half while forward Kadeem Jack finished with 20 points.After relinquishing the lead to the Scarlet Knights, the Badgers made a final run, pulling within two at 64-62 after a Bronson Koenig jumper with less than 30 seconds left in the game. But Rutgers hit its free throws over the next stretch and grabbed a 67-62 win over UW.The Badgers were without two starters in the final 12 minutes of the game. Kaminsky did not play due to a concussion and Jackson was forced out of the game after rolling his ankle. Both Hayes and Dekker led the Badgers in scoring with 15 points each. Hayes also added a game-high 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.Jan. 15 vs. Nebraska: Wisconsin 70 – Nebraska 55Wisconsin returned to form with a double-digit defeat of the Cornhuskers at the Kohl Center. After missing the Rutgers game due to a concussion, Kaminsky returned and scored a game-high 22 points on 7 of 11 shooting while going 4-for-5 from three. Five Badgers scored in double figures while the team shot 52.4 percent from the floor and 48.8 percent from beyond the arc for the game.UW pulled away from Nebraska in the second half using a 22-4 run to open up a 62-40 lead on the Cornhuskers after they closed the UW lead to four with 16:46 left in the second half. Wisconsin was able to slow down preseason All-Big Ten selection Terran Petteway in the second half. Petteway scored 20 of Nebraska’s 27 points in the first half but managed only seven points on 3 of 7 shooting in the final 20 minutes.Bronson Koenig made his second start of his career as he took over the starting point guard role from Traevon Jackson who is out for six weeks with a fractured foot. Koenig played 37 minutes including all 20 minutes in the first half, scoring 11 points on 4 of 5 shooting, going 4-for-5 from three.