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Hansbrough, North Carolina once again roll over N.C. State

Feb 21, 2008 - 4:09 AM RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Although North Carolina State had a more competitive first half this time, Tyler Hansbrough and North Carolina showed once again that they are a class above.

Hansbrough continued his recent scoring surge with 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as third-ranked North Carolina once again routed North Carolina State, 84-70, in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Wednesday.

Wayne Ellington scored 21 points and Marcus Ginyard added 13 for the Tar Heels (25-2, 10-2 ACC), who played their fifth consecutive game without starting point guard Ty Lawson.

While North Carolina coach Roy Williams drew some indirect criticism this week from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski for his handling of Lawson's injury, the Tar Heels were all business against the Wolfpack (15-11, 4-8).

With its fourth straight win, North Carolina improved to 13-0 away from Chapel Hill this season.

"You go onto the road in the ACC and the crowd is going to be into the game," Williams said about playing at the RBC Center. "It's always going to be up and down, and we talk to the team about that. We talk about playing with poise, and they certainly did that tonight."

After trailing by six points late in the first half, the Tar Heels went on a 9-0 run, heading into intermission for a 34-31 edge. Hansbrough had four of his 14 first-half points during the spurt.

"I thought we were really lucky in the first half to stay in contact with N.C. State and make a nice run in the end," Williams said. "We put together some solid minutes towards the end of the half that really did a lot for us."

North Carolina, which limited North Carolina State to 13 points in the opening half of a 93-62 win at Chapel Hill on January 12, continued a charge that North Carolina State could not match after the break, scoring six of the first eight points.

"It's about concentration, focus, and being tough," North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said. "We knew that in the second half their team would come out and be more physical. We can't keep up and it's puzzling to me."

The Tar Heels eventually opened a 56-38 advantage with 13:49 remaining on the strength of a 16-2 run. Hansbrough had eight points during the burst, including the capping dunk.

Overall, Hansbrough went 11-of-19 from the field en route to his sixth straight game with 22 or more points. The junior forward is averaging 27.8 points during that span.

"(Tyler Hansbrough) was the best player on the floor tonight," Lowe said. "We didn't challenge him enough. Our bigs were not contesting shots. He had a great game."

Continuing to fill in for Lawson, Quentin Thomas finished with 10 points and seven assists against just two assists as North Carolina captured its 10th in the last 11 games in the series.

Gavin Grant scored 17 points and freshman J.J. Hickson added 13 for the Wolfpack, who have lost their last four games.

Grant carried North Carolina State in the first half, scoring 12 points as his squad held a 31-25 lead following a alley-oop dunk by Courtney Fells with 4:58 left in the first half.

It was a much better effort than the Wolfpack's last game with the Tar Heels, when they managed just six field goals in the first half en route to a 30-point deficit at intermission (43-13).

However, the better first-half effort did not help as North Carolina State fell to 2-5 against ranked teams this season.

"We're plagued in the second half," Lowe said. "We start relaxing and teams take advantage of that. We make careless passes under pressure. It was a mental breakdown and we didn't stay focused."