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Ellington, Terry help UNC turn back Kentucky

Dec 2, 2006 - 7:40 PM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Wayne Ellington helped North Carolina build on an impressive win.

Ellington scored 17 points and fellow freshman Brandan Wright contributed 16 as sixth-ranked North Carolina pulled away for a 75-63 victory over Kentucky in a matchup of the nation's two winningest programs.

Reyshawn Terry's shooting from the outside fueled a second-half surge for the Tar Heels (6-1), who were coming off Wednesday night's 98-89 victory over top-ranked Ohio State.

"I was concerned about a letdown," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "I don't think we were emotionally into the game as much as we were Wednesday night. It's only the second time in my career that I've ever stood up and waved at the crowd, trying to wake them up."

Ellington, who scored a season-high 19 points on his 19th birthday in the win over Ohio State, made 6-of-14 shots from the field and three 3-pointers.

Wright also continued his strong play, making 7-of-12 shots in 27 minutes.

The Tar Heels, who never trailed, held a 36-33 advantage early in the second half before taking control with an 18-6 run. Terry drilled three 3-pointers in the surge, which Ellington capped with two free throws with 11:34 remaining for a 54-39 cushion.

Terry scored 16 points and finished 4-of-6 from the arc. He scored 25 points in an 83-79 victory at Kentucky last December.

"Reyshawn, I was really proud of him making some big baskets for us today," Williams said. "As everybody knows, he's been struggling."

Wright made a hook shot to start the burst and Wes Miller followed with one of the Tar Heels' nine 3-pointers.

The decisive run started after Williams pulled his starters with 17:16 remaining after his club started poorly in the second half.

"It was tough," Wright said. "We did not hustle for that loose ball, the guys were just running down the court, but coach (Williams) got really into it. We got back in and took advantage of those opportunities.

"Coach just lit a fire under us. He made us go out there, play more aggressive, and dive for those loose balls."

North Carolina, which has won three straight from Kentucky, is 41 victories behind the Wildcats' all-time mark of 1,930.

The Tar Heels were able win despite super sophomore Tyler Hansbrough scoring just seven points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Randolph Morris outplayed Hansbrough and scored 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting for the Wildcats (4-3), who fell to 0-3 against ranked teams.

Despite shooting 54 percent (14-of-26) in the second half, Kentucky was unable to make a strong push. After getting down by double digits, it pulled within nine points on three occasions, the final time at 68-59 with under a minute remaining.

Joe Crawford added 16 points and Bobby Perry 12 for the Wildcats, who shot 46 percent (25-of-54), made just 3-of-15 attempts from the arc and committed 22 turnovers.

"We've got to regroup, and try to find a way to address this ball handling issue, because this is the fourth game in a row now that I think we've turned the ball over each game more," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.






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