for this game

Hansbrough leads UNC to another win

Dec 29, 2008 - 4:30 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Rutgers tried its best but eventually figured out that it is nearly impossible to match North Carolina basket for basket.

Tyler Hansbrough had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Ty Lawson added 19 points and six assists as top-ranked North Carolina led from start to finish en route to a 97-75 victory over Rutgers on Sunday.

Danny Green scored 18 points for the Tar Heels (12-0), who have won each of their games by double digits this season.

"In some ways, it's an unusual game," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "I felt like that we weren't doing a very good job defensively and they were making every shot. Yet I don't usually watch the scoreboard, but every time I look up we were up 14, 16, 18; something like that. I think the game was backboards and the fact that we were able to turn them over."

Both teams shot well from the field. But the Scarlet Knights, who like to play an up-tempo game similar to the Tar Heels, were hurt by 19 turnovers.

North Carolina came out firing, making 13-of-15 shots in the opening nine minutes to take a 29-21 lead with 11:01 left in the first half. Hansbrough made his first five shots to open the game.

"I thought we came out and competed tonight," Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. "Our goal was to play at a certain tempo, but obviously they are great at making you play at their speed. We did a lot of good things, but came out short just not enough to get the game close down the stretch."

The Scarlet Knights hung in with some hot shooting of their own, but Lawson scored the final five points of a 9-0 run that gave the Tar Heels a 44-30 lead with 4:38 left in the first half.

"I thought Tyler (Lawson) was sensational - six assists and zero turnovers," Williams said. "Those are the kinds of things that we need him to do."

North Carolina extended its lead to as many as 18 before settling for a 52-38 advantage at the break.

The Tar Heels continued to keep the Scarlet Knights at bay in the second half and Hansbrough's dunk made the score, 65-46, with 14:48 left in the game.

Rutgers did its best to keep the score respectable as Corey Chandler's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 80-67 with 5:34 remaining.

"The question coming in is are we getting better than the last time out," Hill said. "That was our focus. Everybody was talking about playing one, two and three in the country. Our focus was getting better."

However, North Carolina had too much down the stretch and came up three points shy of its fifth 100-point game of the season.

The game marked the return of senior forward Marcus Ginyard, who had missed the first 11 games after recovering from a broken foot. Ginyard had three points, four rebounds and two steals in 11 minutes.

"It was exciting to get back out on the court," Ginyard said. "I'm just trying to work my way back in it. Got a little tired out there, but hopefully that will come as I get more involved out there."

It is the second straight season that North Carolina has opened with at least 12 wins. The Tar Heels won their first 18 games to open last season.

Freshman Mike Rosario scored 26 points to lead the Scarlet Knights (9-4), who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

"I told Fred he's got some young kids, but they've really upgraded the level of talent from what it was three years ago," said Williams, whose team has beaten Rutgers three straight seasons. "I really think he's done a nice job with his club."