for this game

Hansbrough muscles UNC over No. 1 Ohio State

Nov 30, 2006 - 4:46 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Although Ohio State sizzled from outside, Tyler Hansbrough showed the Buckeyes that they are not the nation's elite until they fill their hole inside.

Hansbrough scored 21 points and pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds as sixth-ranked North Carolina outlasted No. 1 Ohio State, 98-89, in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

With 7-foot freshman Greg Oden sidelined from offseason wrist surgery, Hansbrough had his way inside, shooting 8-of-16 from the field.

Behind the stellar play of the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, the Tar Heels (5-1) continued their mastery of top-ranked teams from the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, beating a No. 1 for the sixth time.

"It was a heck of a basketball game," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "Even as a coach, you sit over there and marvel at the level that the kids are playing at offensively."

"As I told our guys, that was a high-level basketball game and when you get in a game like that guys are going to make plays," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "Quite honestly, North Carolina made more plays than we made to win the game."

Despite the presence for Hansbrough, it was Ivan Harris and the Buckeyes (6-1) who were in control early, knocking down numerous 3-pointers en route to a 33-23 lead with 7 1/2 minutes remaining before intermission.

Harris, who finished with 17 points, went 5-of-8 from the arc and Ohio State shot 50 percent (13-of-26) on 3-pointers.

Closing within 48-44 at the half, North Carolina carried over that momentum to the second half, with Hansbrough scoring 14 points and freshman Wayne Ellington adding 16 of his 19 after the break.

Matta credited the change of momentum on the huge disparity in foul calls. Ohio State finished with 23 fouls compared to just 13 for North Carolina.

"I think in the first half when we got them down 10, the foul trouble crushed us and it gave them some momentum going in at halftime," he said. "Once again, Carolina made the plays tonight, and we look at this and we will find ways to get better."

Ellington saw the reversal caused by a young Tar Heels squad that is still learning to play together.

"First half we were stumbling around and were lucky to only be down by four points," Ellington said. "The second half we came out and turned up the intensity to a level we haven't seen this year.

"Overall, we played a good game, but we still not hitting on all cylinders and that's the scary thing about this team."

Hansbrough had two layups and completed a three-point play and Ellington added a jumper and a 3-pointer during a 17-2 spurt that put the Tar Heels ahead, 80-70, with 6:34 to play.

The Buckeyes, who were outrebounded by a 41-27 margin, got no closer than five points thereafter.

Ron Lewis scored 30 points and freshman Daequan Cook added 14 for Ohio State, which dropped to 2-8 all-time against North Carolina.

Although the Buckeyes' freshman class has received the majority of the press so far this season due to Oden, the Tar Heels showed that their first-year players might be just as good.

Along with the play of Ellington, point guard Ty Lawson scored 13 points and handed out five assists without a turnover and Brandan Wright added 11 points and five rebounds.

"Brandan came out and made three straight baskets one time and then Ty hit a great pass to Brandan late in the game," Tar Heels sophomore guard Bobby Frasor said. "They really stepped it up and they almost carried us in the second half."

Although it absorbed its first loss of the season and will probably drop out of the top spot when the next USA Today/ESPN coaches poll is released next Monday, Ohio State can take encouragement in the fact that it went shot-for-shot with UNC without Oden.

"They got a big-time team, and when Greg Oden gets back and playing for them, they're going to be a heck of a team," Williams said about Matta's squad. "He's got their program to an elite level in college basketball and I think he's going to keep it and we feel very fortunate."

"The encouraging thing for us is that we're waiting on Greg, and where they got us tonight is some areas where he's going to help us a lot," Matta said. "I don't ever like to lose, but the barometer here is that we can play."

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