for this game

Hansbrough, UNC halt Wake Forest's winning streak

Feb 25, 2008 - 4:31 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Tyler Hansbrough gave an early indication that Wake Forest would not be scoring another big upset.

Hansbrough scored 16 of his 29 points in the first half as third-ranked North Carolina led nearly throughout in an 89-73 victory over Wake Forest in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Sunday.

The Demon Deacons entered the matchup fourth in the ACC after a three-game winning streak that included an 86-73 upset of second-ranked Duke last Sunday. However, those winning ways did not stand a chance against the Tar Heels (26-2, 11-2 ACC).

"We're very happy that we ended up on this side of the scoreboard," said North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who was facing the Demon Deacons for the first time since the untimely death of coach Skip Prosser. "Wake Forest still has some good things going on. I think (coach Dino Gaudio) has done a really good job with this club."

"I thought we played hard and I thought our kids fought," Gaudio said. "It's a tough environment."

Wake Forest did make some early noise, however, pulling ahead 18-16 on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Jeff Teague.

Yet, Danny Green followed with a tip and a 3-pointer and scored seven points during a 10-0 run for a 26-18 lead with 10:56 remaining.

Hansbrough, who finished 9-of-13 from the field, later added eight points on a 12-2 run that made it 47-35 with 2:38 left before halftime.

Along with Hansbrough's 16 first-half points, Wayne Ellington and Green scored 10 as the Tar Heels held a 50-41 lead at the break.

"Tyler and Wayne give us two guys who can really score and when you get contributions like that from Danny and Alex (Stepheson) coming off the bench you have to feel good about that," Williams said.

The junior forward added three more points in the opening 1 1/2 minutes following intermission as North Carolina maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half.

Despite the sizeable final margin, Wake Forest proved tough to shake, ending up shooting 48 percent (29-of-60) from the field.

"They were a load to handle for us," Williams said. "They broke down our defense quite a bit and we've been getting a lot better defensively but they broke us down a lot more than we wanted to, to say the least."

"No, it didn't seem like that at all," North Carolina guard Quentin Thomas said about the 16-point margin. "Wake Forest is a great team. They missed a lot of shots that we thought they probably would have made. So, that was fortunate for us, but at the same time, I feel that we did play well in certain areas of the game."

Ellington scored 17 points and Green added 15 and nine rebounds for the Tar Heels, who won their fifth straight game.

Thomas chipped in six points and seven assists while continuing to fill in at point guard for North Carolina, which played its sixth straight game without starter Ty Lawson, who has been slow to recover from a sprained left ankle.

While Lawson sat out once again, Deon Thompson did play despite nursing a hyperextended left knee and a lower back injury.

The sophomore forward finished with just three points and a rebound in 14 minutes, forcing Williams to question his decision to play him.

"I probably should have just held Deon out because he is trying in practice but he doesn't have the same energy level in the game that he had in practice yesterday. So I don't know if I'll play him this Saturday or not because we've got to get healthy," he said. "No question about it."

James Johnson had 22 points and eight boards for the Demon Deacons (16-9, 6-6), who were outrebounded, 38-24.

Teague finished with 18 points and Chas McFarland added 11 and three blocks for Wake Forest, which committed 24 fouls compared to 18 for North Carolina.

"The first thing I told them after the game was we have to play with a little bit more of emotional maturity on the road," Gaudio said. "We worry about this call a little bit and that call a little bit, we have the best officials in the whole country, just play. That is all you have to do and we will learn."