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Hansbrough leads UNC past Valpo

Dec 20, 2008 - 9:41 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Tyler Hansbrough scored 25 points as top-ranked North Carolina cruised to an 85-63 victory over Valparaiso on Saturday at the United Center.

In his first game since becoming the school's all-time leading scorer, Hansbrough had his way with the smaller Crusaders in helping the Tar Heels (11-0) to their 11th straight lopsided win.

Hansbrough scored 14 points in the first half as the Tar Heels overcame a sluggish start to open a 41-31 lead at the break.

The afternoon ended in a painful manner for Hansbrough, who was the recipient of an intentional foul from De'Andre Haskins with 3:32 remaining. Hansbrough, who still was on the court with many of the other starters despite the Tar Heels holding an 80-53 advantage, was pulled down while going up for a dunk but immediately jumped to his feet to confront Haskins.

Deon Thompson added 12 points and Wayne Ellington 11 for the Tar Heels.

Urule Igbavboa and Michael Rogers scored 16 points apiece for pace Valparaiso (3-7), which has lost three straight and seven of eight since a 2-0 start.

Hardly challenged this season, the Tar Heels were sloppy at the start as the Crusaders built a 12-3 lead less than five minutes into the contest. It marked the Tar Heels' largest deficit of the season.

However, Bobby Frasor, Ty Lawson and Ellington all drilled 3-pointers as part of a 14-2 surge which put the Tar Heels on top.

Hansbrough got going moments later, scoring inside, throwing down a dunk and hitting a short jumper, helping the Tar Heels build a 38-25 lead. UNC settled for a 41-31 advantage at the break.

The reigning National Player of the Year continued to have his way after intermission, converting a three-point play and jumper as the Tar Heels scored the first nine points of the second half, all but putting the game out of reach.

Hansbrough, who was rested earlier this season as he battled a stress reaction in his shin and sprained ankle, made 9-of-13 shots.

A dunk by Thompson pushed the the advantage to 60-40 with 11:54 remaining.

North Carolina, which shot 46 percent (26-of-56), did commit 17 turnovers.