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Henson helps North Carolina down NC State

Feb 24, 2011 - 4:31 AM Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - John Henson's best all-around games came in one of the ACC's longest rivalries.

Henson made the 219th installment of this in-state battle his personal stat sheet, scoring eight points, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking six shots, as 19th-ranked North Carolina pulled away late past North Carolina State, 75-63, at the RBC Center.

The North Carolina forward had his best statistical game of the season in the first meeting with the Wolfpack, totaling 16 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks back on January 29th. He nearly duplicated the feat while holding serve in the post as Tyler Zeller battled three first-half fouls.

Zeller stayed on the floor in the second half, scoring 11 points with nine rebounds. Harrison Barnes overcame a slow start to led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds, Kendall Marshall added 14 points and five assists, while Dexter Strickland donated 13 points for the Tar Heels (21-6, 11-2 ACC), who posted their fourth straight victory.

CJ Leslie totaled 13 points and seven rebounds, Tracy Smith added 12 points and seven rebounds and Lorenzo Brown chipped in with 11 points for the Wolfpack (14-13, 4-9), who dropped their second straight game.

North Carolina, which wrestled control of the game away from the Wolfpack late in the first half, continued its momentum, opening a 46-37 lead on two free throws by Henson nearly six minutes in.

North Carolina State didn't give in, scoring eight of the next 10 capped by Smith's layup in transition for a three-point game, 48-45. CJ Williams' slam with just under 11 minutes to play brought the Wolfpack all of the way back to even at 50-50.

However, they never got over the top thanks to Barnes and company. A conventional three-point play by Reggie Bullock pushed the Tar Heels back in front and Barnes used a head fake and sank a long two-pointer for a 56-52 lead. Zeller tipped in a Barnes miss and Strickland's pull-up jumper from the left elbow in transition pushed the Tar Heels back in front by a comfortable margin, 60-52.

After seeing its lead cut to four, Barnes grabbed two straight offensive rebounds, slamming both home emphatically, the latter pushing the margin back to eight at 64-56. Leslie's three sliced the margin to five, but that was as close as the Wolfpack got, as Barnes answered the trey with one of his own, and the Tar Heels made foul shots down the stretch.

North Carolina State came out with plenty of energy, rattling off nine of the game's first 11 points and taking a double-digit edge at 19-9 on Javier Gonzalez's three-pointer with a few ticks over 11 minutes remaining in the half. The Tar Heels ran off the next eight points capped by Henson's slam, and finally drew even, 24-24, on Strickland's trey with just over 4 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Tar Heels pushed in front on Marshall's triple in the final minute, taking a 31-29 lead in the locker room.

Game Notes

North Carolina State made 43.1 percent of its shots to 42.4 for the Tar Heels, who made more free throws (14) than the Wolfpack attempted (10)...North Carolina held a hefty 47-33 edge on the glass, including 19 offensive rebounds..The Wolfpack assisted on 17 of 28 made baskets...North Carolina leads the all-time series, 144-75.