for this game

Hansbrough, UNC eventually shake Valparaiso

Dec 31, 2007 - 5:23 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- It was not the first run, but the second that helped Tyler Hansbrough and North Carolina put away Valparaiso.

Hansbrough scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the top-ranked Tar Heels used a second-half push to post a 90-58 victory over the Crusaders on Sunday.

Danny Green matched a career-high 20 points off the bench for North Carolina (13-0), which shot 51 percent (33-of-65) in continuing its best start to a season since the 1997-98 squad went 17-0.

Coming off back-to-back 100-point efforts over UC Santa Barbara and Nevada, the Tar Heels looked like they were on the way to another triple-digit decision after scoring 19 of the game's first 21 points.

Deon Thompson had six points during that burst, which ate up the opening 8:40 of the contest.

While most teams would have packed it in after that, Valparaiso (10-3) did not, managing to close the first half on an 11-1 run to trail by just 36-31 at the half.

"I really was proud of our team for the first half," Valparaiso coach Homer Drew said. "We got down 12-0. I thought we showed great poise, great patience, great confidence and we came back and made it a very exciting end of the half."

It was a rally that North Carolina coach Roy Williams was too surprised about.

"Sure enough, Valpo made a great run," he said. "I tried to warn them that the game's not over with. A long time ago I was coaching a team and we were ahead 22-0, and they had a shot to win the game at the end. I'm never extremely impressed or extremely disappointed about the first couple of minutes of games. They were missing those shots, but then they started making some."

The Crusaders did not stop there, scoring six of the first seven points after intermission to erase their deficit against the nation's top team. Shawn Huff had two layups during that span, including one that tied the score at 37-37 with 17:30 to play.

North Carolina, however, was not shaken by the slip-up, responding with a 27-2 spurt that put the game out of reach at 64-39 with 9:01 to play. Green had 11 points during the run, including three of his four 3-pointers.

"We came out in the second half, and it got 37-37, then all of a sudden we played probably our best basketball of the year for about the next eight or 10 minutes," Williams said. "We got some stops on the defensive end, and we made shots.

"Everything looks a lot better when the ball goes in the hole. Danny (Green) made a couple threes, Ty (Lawson) made a three in that stretch and we were getting the ball inside to Tyler (Hansbrough). Those things really help you."

Hansbrough finished 7-of-8 from the floor as he recorded his seventh double-double of the season.

One game after making his first career start, the junior Green shot 8-of-10 and had five assists and four blocks.

"There was definitely a moment in the game when it felt like everything was falling for me and everything was going my way," Green said. "When I feel like that I call for the ball a lot more."

Jarryd Loyd had 24 points for the Crusaders, who shot 35 percent (23-of-65) in dropping their second straight road game to a team from a major conference. Valpo absorbed a 68-58 loss to Wisconsin on December 22.