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Hansbrough, North Carolina run all over Boston College

Feb 1, 2008 - 6:19 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Tyler Hansbrough and North Carolina proved to have just too much hustle for Boston College to handle.

Hansbrough scored 18 points, including a pair of highlight dunks in transition, as the fourth-ranked Tar Heels rolled to a 91-69 rout of the Eagles in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Thursday.

Deon Thompson had a career-high 17 points and Ty Lawson added 16 points and 10 assists as North Carolina (20-1, 5-1 ACC) posted its second straight win after absorbing an 82-80 loss to Maryland here on January 19 for its only setback.

It is the 35th time in the last 38 seasons that the Tar Heels have won at least 20 games. It was also the 18th instance in the 20 years as a coach that Roy Williams has guided his team to at least 20 wins.

The Tar Heels, who rebounded with a 98-82 rout at Miami on January 23, were looking to avoid consecutive losses at the Dean Smith Center since January 2006.

The team that handed them their second straight home loss two seasons ago were the Eagles (12-7, 3-3), who was aiming to put a halt to a two-game losing streak of their own.

However, Boston College was no match for North Carolina, which had very little trouble getting out in transition for numerous easy shots. Overall, the Tar Heels shot 51.5 percent (35-of-68), feasting on the 17 turnovers by the Eagles.

"I mean, that's what they want to do," Boston College coach Al Skinner said. "It's about transition for them and when we don't control our offense and turn the ball over then that's going to allow them to do that. We did not do a good job, particularly in the first half, of running our offense. And again it led to run outs for them."

While Boston College struggled with giveaways, North Carolina was paced by Lawson, who did not commit a turnover while posting double-digits in assists for the third time this season and second straight game.

"I'm just taking care of the ball a lot more, making sure that the passes I make always get through, and not putting the ball in jeopardy," Lawson said. "I'm just trying to take care of the ball, because that's a big thing with us, turnovers. I'm trying to limit that and it makes us a lot better."

"You like to look down there and see your point guard with 10 assists and zero turnovers," Williams said.

Although North Carolina raced out to a 14-4 lead in the first 4 1/2 minutes, Boston College was able to claw its way back into the contest, tying the score at 21-21 on a dunk by Shamari Spears with 10:49 remaining.

The Eagles actually pulled ahead about 1 1/2 minutes later when a banked 3-pointer by John Oates gave them a 26-25 edge. However, the Tar Heels were off to the races once again.

Thompson scored six straight points to ignite an 11-1 run. The sophomore forward, who finished 8-of-10 from the field, also capped the burst with a three-point play, making it 36-27 with 4:15 to play before intermission.

"He had a really good game tonight, did a lot of things," Hansbrough said of Thompson. "He made some good moves, and got some boards, and had some defensive stops for us, he played a big role for us tonight. Hopefully, he's gaining some confidence, and a little self-esteem booster, whatever you want to call it, and I think he'll be ready for next game, and hopefully it will carry over."

North Carolina went on to lead 47-31 at the break after closing the half with an 11-0 run. During that surge, Hansbrough took an outlet pass just before halfcourt and went all the way to the rim for a thunderous two-handed dunk.

"I thought around the nine-minute mark down in the end of the first half, it was the most active defensively that we had been all year," Williams said. "We got some turnovers and some deflections, all of the sudden we were running out in the break. It goes from a four- or six-point game to sixteen at half. And I thought that was biggest part of the game really - how active we were at that point defensively."

The Tar Heels added another run at the start of the second half, opening up a 57-31 cushion after Lawson scored six points on a 10-0 spurt.

The contest remained in North Carolina's favor the rest of the way, with Hansbrough completing another highlight-worthy play with just over 7 1/2 minutes remaining. After knocking the ball away from Boston College guard Tyrese Rice, the junior forward raced down the court and brought the fans to their feet with a 360-degree dunk.

Hansbrough finished 7-of-14 from the field and grabbed six rebounds. Thompson also grabbed six rebounds, handed out four assists and grabbed three steals.

"I was playing really good tonight," Thompson said. "I was going to the basket, so it was good. ... When the ball is in to you, and the first couple shots you take go in, it just kind of gets you rolling and gets you going, so that was good."

Rice finished with 20 points, but committed six turnovers.

Freshman Rakim Sanders added 16 points despite committing five turnovers for the Eagles, who shot 42 percent (25-of-59) from the field and made only 12-of-19 free throws.

    --- --- -----
    BOSTON COLLEGE 31 38 69
    NORTH CAROLINA (4) 47 44 91 FINAL

    Jan 31 8:53 PM


    Jan 31 7:52 PM
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