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Ellington leads attack as UNC crushes Maryland

Feb 4, 2009 - 5:12 AM CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- North Carolina's outside shooting more than made up for its suspect defense.

Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 34 points and led an onslaught from the arc as fourth-ranked North Carolina cruised to its sixth straight win, posting a 108-91 victory over Maryland on Tuesday.

Ellington shot 12-of-15 from the floor, including 7-of-9 from the arc for the Tar Heels (20-2, 6-2 ACC), who made a season-high 16-of-25 3-pointers. North Carolina was 11-of-15 from the outside in the first half.

"It was a heck of a show," Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said. "I said a lot of times this year that we can really shoot the ball and we shot the dickens out of it tonight. But, I don't like giving up 91 points to say the least."

Tyler Hansbrough scored 24 points and Ty Lawson had 21 for North Carolina, which topped the 100-point mark for the sixth time this season - and first in conference play.

The 91 points were the second-most that North Carolina allowed this season. The Tar Heels surrendered 92 in a loss at Wake Forest on January 11.

"It wasn't very impressive on the defensive end of the floor, but we made a bunch of shots," Williams said. When the score's 108-91, there's a lot of good things and a lot of frustrating things, but that's basketball."

North Carolina seized control early as Ellington and Danny Green made consecutive 3-pointers during a 10-0 run to give the Tar Heels a 20-8 lead with 13:27 left in the first half.

The Tar Heels continued their hot shooting from the arc, making five straight 3-point attempts - the last of which by Ellington extended the lead to 52-31 with 4:34 left before the break.

"I was pretty much in the zone the whole game," Ellington said. "We came out and we were hitting shots. We just kept it rolling. We got some easy buckets tonight from the inside as well, but from the perimeter tonight we were just rolling."

Maryland, which shot 56 percent (20-of-36) in the first half, tried to hang close but Ellington made three free throws with seven seconds to go in the half to give North Carolina a 60-44 advantage heading into the locker rooms.

"I think our defense wasn't ready to play and against a team like Carolina, if you give them any inkling at all that you're not ready to play, I think they're really good at taking advantage of that situation," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "We played a bad first half defensively and it really cost us. We scored, but we couldn't stop them obviously."

Hansbrough scored the first six points of the second half to give the Tar Heels a 66-44 bulge, and North Carolina remained comfortably in front for the rest of the contest.

Maryland got within 73-58 on Cliff Tucker's 3-pointer with 13:31 left but North Carolina pushed the advantage back up and held an 87-65 cushion on Ellington's sixth 3-pointer with 9:07 to play.

"We switched to zone with the idea that maybe it would get them out of their rhythm," Gary Williams said. "We've done that before this year and it has worked, but they continued to make (shots). The biggest thing we did whether it was man or zone, we didn't fly shooters. We kind of stayed on the floor when you have to get up in their face."

It was Ellington's first 30-point game of the campaign. The junior netted a career-high 36 in a double-overtime victory at Clemson last season.

Lawson, who added six assists, and Green each made four 3-pointers, while Maryland was 3-of-10 from the arc as a team.

Freshman Sean Mosley scored a season-high 19 points and Tucker had 18 to lead five Terrapins (14-8, 3-5) in double figures.

North Carolina announced after the game that senior forward Marcus Ginyard will miss the remainder of the season with a left foot injury.