Thursday's Top 25 Capsules

Dec 28, 2007 - 2:30 AM By PA SportsTicker

(1) NORTH CAROLINA 106, NEVADA 70 ---------------------------------

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Ty Lawson and North Carolina caught Nevada in a lull and that was all they needed to put the Wolfpack away.

Lawson scored six of his 16 points during a first half-ending surge as top-ranked Tar Heels went on to post a 106-70 rout of Nevada on Thursday.

Tyler Hansbrough had 26 points and eight rebounds and Wayne Ellington scored 23 for North Carolina (12-0), which continued its best start since beginning 17-0 in 1997-98.

Despite facing its first ranked foe of the season, the Wolfpack (7-5) were able to hang with the nation's top team early, holding a 16-13 lead after a 3-pointer by Lyndale Burleson with nearly five minutes expired.

Nevada continued to exchange shots with North Carolina despite falling behind by as many as 10 points. Down 34-24 with under seven minutes to play, the Wolfpack threw together a 9-2 run to close within 36-33 on a short jumper by freshman Armon Johnson with 3:51 to go before intermission.

The contest remained close until the final three minutes, as Nevada committed five turnovers to help North Carolina run away with the game.

Ellington, who did not start after travel issues prevented the sophomore from returning from Christmas break on time, hit a 3-pointer and converted two free throws to make it 41-33 with 2:55 remaining.

Lawson extended the cushion to 43-35 with a jumper with 48 seconds to go before grabbing a steal and racing down the court for a layup and a 12-point lead.

In the waning seconds, Lawson collected the rebound off a blocked shot before scoring a layup in transition that beat the halftime buzzer, capping a 13-2 spurt for a 49-35 advantage at the break.

The Wolfpack were demoralized by the Tar Heels' quick strike and continued to reel in the second half. Hansbrough had a basket inside and Ellington added five points, including a 3-pointer, as UNC scored the opening 11 points after the break, pulling ahead, 60-35, with just over 17 minutes to play.

Finishing 5-of-8 from the arc, Ellington added another 3-pointer for a 92-58 bulge with 4:23 remaining.

Lawson ended up with 10 assists and Deon Thompson scored 12 points for the Tar Heels, who shot 53.5 percent (38-of-71) and held a 45-33 advantage in rebounding.

Johnson finished with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting for Nevada, which had a five-game winning streak snapped.






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