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Wright, UNC hand Clemson second straight setback

Jan 18, 2007 - 5:31 AM CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- Brandan Wright showed Clemson it has a ways to go before it can be considered among the Atlantic Coast Conference elite.

Wright scored 17 points and Tyler Hansbrough added 16 as fourth-ranked North Carolina continued its mastery of the No. 16 Tigers with a 77-55 rout.

With their sixth consecutive win in the series, the Tar Heels (16-2, 3-1 ACC) bounced back from a 94-88 loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday that cost them the nation's top ranking.

For Clemson (17-2, 3-2), the loss was a second straight disappointment after beginning the season by tying for the best start in school history at 17-0. The Tigers were the last remaining unbeaten team in Division I before a 92-87 setback at Maryland on Saturday.

One of three freshmen that start for North Carolina, Wright bounced back from a rough last game, where he shot just 1-of-8 at the free-throw line en route to the Tar Heels having a 12-game winning streak snapped by the Hokies.

Wright, the ACC leader in field-goal percentage at 65.0, shot 8-of-10 from the field, and North Carolina finished 52 percent (31-of-60) to improve to 2-1 in road games.

Scoring nine points on 4-of-4 shooting, Wright helped the Tar Heels storm to a 44-31 lead at the break. The 6-9 forward ended up making his first seven shots, including a dunk that capped a 10-4 burst over the opening 3:16 of the second half for a 54-35 advantage.

Wright also had four blocks and Hansbrough added seven rebounds for North Carolina, which finished with a 47-38 advantage on the boards.

Fellow freshman Wayne Ellington scored 11 points and Danny Green added 10 off the bench for the Tar Heels.

James Mays and Cliff Hammonds had 15 points each for Clemson, which went just 4-of-19 (21 percent) on 3-pointers and shot just 26 percent (5-of-19) at the free-throw line.

The Tigers' top scorer, K.C. Rivers, was held scoreless in the first half before finishing with four points on 2-of-9 shooting. He missed all four of his attempts from the arc.

Starting freshman center Trevor Booker did not provide much offense for Clemson, managing just four points on 2-of-7 from the field but did block a season-high eight shots.

Overall, the Tigers had 12 blocks and 20 steals, compared to just six and 11, respectively, for the Tar Heels.