Hansbrough scores 25 as UNC keeps rollingJan 3, 2008 - 5:06 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Tyler Hansbrough, once again, did everything he could to help keep top-ranked North Carolina undefeated.
The Wooden Award candidate scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds as the Tar Heels cruised to their 14th consecutive victory, a 90-61 triumph over Kent State on Wednesday night.
Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson each added 17 points for North Carolina (14-0), which is off to its best start since beginning 17-0 during the 1997-98 campaign. The club is one of six remaining unbeaten teams left in Division I.
"I thought we did some nice things," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "I told them in the locker room I've been working my tail off trying to make sure they're focused the last four or five games because we've played pretty solid basketball teams."
Hansbrough, who shot 7-of-10 from the floor, has now scored at least 20 points in seven straight games. The 6-9 forward also connected on all 11 of his free-throw attempts.
North Carolina jumped out to an early 15-6 edge with 15:02 left in the first half after Danny Green knocked down a 3-pointer and Lawson made a driving layup.
Mike Scott's 3-pointer cut the Golden Flashes' deficit to 17-13, but the Tar Heels pulled away with a 12-0 run midway through the first half. Lawson, who had seven assists, scored eight points during the burst that gave North Carolina a 29-13 lead with 8:35 remaining.
"That's one of the strengths of their basketball team; they can withstand your run and put a run on you that's hard to stop," Kent State coach Jim Christian said. "They really know how to increase the lead and that's the sign of a great basketball team."
With UNC holding an 18-point advantage with three minutes left in the first half, Kent State went on an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 41-32. Ellington, however, hit a 3-pointer with one second left to extend the Tar Heels' advantage to 44-32 heading into the break.
"We are an experienced basketball team and we know we can't lack focus, that is something that we probably did last year," Ellington said. "We are not really lacking focus when we get up, we are staying focused and concentrating on what we have to do."
Hansbrough took over in the second half, scoring 13 points after the break before taking a rest for the final five minutes with North Carolina holding an 80-52 advantage.
"I challenged our guys to be better defensively in the second half and not be in such a hurry offensively because turnovers lead to open court situations for them," Williams said.
Before leaving, Hansbrough sparked an 11-2 run that gave the Tar Heels an 80-50 lead. He started the burst with a three-point play and collected nine points over the three-minute stretch.
"Once they smell a little blood, they go for it and at that time you have to play with a lot of poise and togetherness on both ends of the floor and we kind of came apart there on that stretch," Christian said. "But, you have to give them credit; they forced us to come apart a little bit and that's where we have to grow."
North Carolina hit 52 percent (34-of-65) from the field, while Kent State shot just 39 percent (27-of-68).
The Golden Flashes (10-3) were led by Haminn Quaintance, who scored 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting with five assists and five steals. The senior forward also had six rebounds and three blocks.
Mike Scott added 13 points for Kent State, which had a seven-game winning streak snapped.
"We can take a lot out of this game," Christian said. "There were stretches in the game I thought we did some very good things and played very well together as a team, executed well; there were stretches where we didn't."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
KENT ST 32 29 61
NORTH CAROLINA (1) 44 46 90 FINAL
Jan 2 9:58 PM
- NCAA BB
KENT ST 32
(1) NORTH CAROLINA 44 HALFTIME
Jan 2 8:50 PM
- Justin Jackson withdraws from draft, will return to UNC May 16
- UNC's Meeks back for senior year after NBA draft flirtation May 4
- UNC: Jackson, Meeks declare for NBA but not hiring agent Apr 22
- Attorney: NCAA also deserves blame in UNC fraud scandal Apr 19
- UNC's Williams aims to coach Tar Heels another 5-9 years Apr 12
- UNC reserve Kenny Williams III recovering from knee surgery Apr 7
- Tar Heels begin moving forward after falling short of title Apr 5
- UNC's Berry on crutches with foot injury after Final Four Apr 5
- Williams and Tar Heels stunned by last-second loss to 'Nova Apr 5
- UNC, Syracuse vastly different but familiar Final Four foes Apr 2
- Double-digit not Cinderella for Syracuse; UNC last No. 1 Mar 31
- Paige's shot returns in time for Tar Heels' Final Four run Mar 29