Recap: Wisconsin vs. Saint Louis
Cancun, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Frank Kaminsky collected 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocks to help No. 10 Wisconsin hold off Saint Louis, 63-57, on Tuesday and advance to the Cancun Challenge Riviera Division championship game.
Traevon Jackson scored 16 points and grabbed six boards to lead the Badgers (7-0), who will take on West Virginia in Wednesday's title tilt.
"That's a Big Ten-caliber team (over there) and this was big for us to come away with a win," Badgers guard Josh Gasser said. "Our defense was tough tonight."
Wisconsin is off to its first 7-0 start since the 1993-94 campaign when it opened 11-0.
Rob Loe led Saint Louis (5-1) with 15 points, while Austin McBroom added 14 points and six rebounds for the Billikens, who will face Old Dominion in a consolation game on Wednesday.
Mike McCall, Jr. finished a layup with 8:41 left in the first half to give Saint Louis a 15-13 lead, but Jackson answered with a jumper at the end, sparking a 10-2 Wisconsin run that Nigel Hayes capped with a pair of free throws to give the Badgers a 24-17 lead with 3:15 to go before halftime.
A Loe dunk with 1:45 left brought the Billikens within five, but Wisconsin scored five of the next seven points to take a 31-23 lead into the break.
The Badgers created some breathing in the early stages of the second, as Kaminsky and Jackson combined on an 11-2 run that pushed the margin to 40-25 just under four minutes into the second half.
With the margin at 12 and 3 1/2 minutes left on the clock, Jackson was whistled for a flagrant foul and McBroom buried both free throws to spark an 11-4 swing that got Saint Louis within 56-51 with 1:44 to play.
However, the Badgers registered the game's next five points to build a 10- point lead with 22 seconds left, all but ending the Billikens' upset bid.Game Notes
Wisconsin shot 46.7 percent (21-of-45) from the field and held Saint Louis to
32.8 percent shooting (21-of-64) from the floor ... Dwayne Evans added 12
points and seven rebounds for Saint Louis ... The teams combined for just 14
assists on 42 made baskets.