Nigel Hayes scored 20 points, Zak Showalter added 18 and No. 14 Wisconsin used an active start on the defensive end to build an early lead and defeat Rutgers, 72-52, on Tuesday night.
Hayes scored 12 points in the first half, when the Badgers (12-2) opened with a 16-4 run over the first 12 minutes to take control in both team's Big Ten opener.
Wisconsin needed the cushion after the Scarlet Knights (11-3) rallied from a 20-point deficit with 14 minutes left.
Rutgers forced turnovers and went on a 3-point shooting spree, hitting five from behind the arc in a five-minute stretch capped by Nigel Johnson's three-pointer with 8:19 left to get to within 53-44.
The Badgers clamped down defensively from there, holding Rutgers to two field goals over the next five-plus minutes.
Mike Williams led Rutgers with 18 points. Ethan Happ finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Wisconsin.
at Maryland 84, Illinois 59: Melo Trimble scored 20 points and Jaylen Brantley added 13 as the Terrapins won the Big Ten Conference opener.
It was the sixth victory in a row for Maryland (13-1), which has won its conference opener in all three seasons since joining the Big Ten. Malcolm Hill had 21 points for the Illini (10-4), who saw their six-game winning streak come to an end.
Northwestern 87, at Penn State 77: Scottie Lindsey scored 17 of his 31 points in the first half to lead the Wildcats to victory in the Big Ten opener.
Vic Law added 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (12-2), who won their ninth straight. Josh Reaves led Penn State (8-6) with 22 points while Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens added 15 and 12, respectively.
at UC Santa Barbara 62, Cal State Bakersfield 60 (OT): Max Heidegger scored all of his 21 points after halftime and the Gauchos (2-9) rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit to snap a four-game skid. Damiyne Durham of the Roadrunners (8-6) forced overtime with a fadeaway three-pointer.