Hansbrough Struggles In Tar Heels' Win

Thursday, November 15th 2007, 7:46 am
By: News On 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Tyler Hansbrough came back to school for his junior year as the most decorated player in college basketball. He struggled to handle the attention in top-ranked North Carolina's season opener Wednesday.

After a dominant first half, Hansbrough was held without a field goal in the second half, losing his temper along the way before the Tar Heels rallied to beat Davidson 72-68.

``There's a target on my back, but I'll be prepared for it,'' Hansbrough said.

Wayne Ellington picked up the slack for Hansbrough's struggles, scoring 20 points and making key plays late to help the Tar Heels avoid a shocking loss in their opener.

Hansbrough finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds, but all but two points and three boards came in the first half.

``Tyler was unbelievable on the backboards, yet we did a very poor job of getting him the ball in the second half,'' North Carolina coach Williams said. ``Every time he touched it, they doubled him. We've got to get him more than six shots in a game.''

Stephen Curry scored 24 points for Davidson (1-1), which nearly became the latest small school to knock off a major school by frustrating Hansbrough.

The leading vote getter on The Associated Press' preseason All-America team, Hansbrough dominated the first half to help North Carolina (1-0) rally from an early seven-point deficit to take a 38-31 lead.

But Hansbrough and the Tar Heels went cold to start the second half and Hansbrough also lost his cool to aid Davidson's comeback.

Hansbrough was called for a foul on Andrew Lovedale while fighting for position on the perimeter with 17:07 left. The two starting jawing and then Hansbrough gave him a slight shove. Referee Mike Wood immediately called a technical foul on Hansbrough, and Davidson turned it into four consecutive points to take a 39-38 lead.

``I got a foul, and I started walking to our huddle,'' Hansbrough said. ``I guess their team was huddling up, and things got congested there.''

In other Top 25 games Wednesday, No. 7 Tennessee routed Arkansas-Monticello 101-44; No. 12 Michigan State beat Louisiana-Monroe 83-65; No. 15 Texas A&M edged UTEP 81-76; and No. 25 Butler defeated Indiana State 76-48.

Hansbrough went more than 7 minutes without scoring to start the second half and Davidson built a 50-46 lead on Will Archambault's 3-pointer with just under 10 minutes left.

The Tar Heels, who missed 12 of their first 14 shots to start the second half, started going inside with Ellington getting key hoops with Hansbrough on the bench with four fouls.

Danny Green added 11 points for North Carolina, which overcame 19 turnovers.

Curry, the son of former NBA 3-point specialist Dell Curry, was only 8-for-22 from the field and 2-for-12 from 3-point range.

Jason Richards added 12 points and eight assists, but Davidson hit just 4-of-22 3-point attempts and was outrebounded 40-33 as it played with two ailing big men, Boris Meno and Max Paulhus Gosselin.

``The No. 1 team in the country and we were right there with them,'' Curry said. ``It shows that we've got better since last year. But we've still got a lot of work to do to win one of these games. We'll have more opportunities.''

It was the start of an ambitious schedule for Davidson, which also plays No. 2 UCLA, No. 13 Duke and No. 21 North Carolina State.

While it was a Davidson home game, the crowd was predominantly pro-Tar Heels. North Carolina agreed to the game to get players acclimated to Charlotte Bobcats Arena, which will host the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and the NCAA East Regional.

Williams thinks this game will make them that much better come March.

``I think it's great even if you lose,'' Williams said. ``But it's a heck of a lot better to get tested like that and win.''

No. 7 Tennessee 101, Arkansas-Monticello 44

Tyler Smith scored 15 points and JaJuan Smith added 14 to help host Tennessee beat Arkansas-Monticello in the first round of the StubHub Legends Classic.

Tennessee (2-0) used a 20-5 run to start the game and put it out of reach. The Vols are 17-0 in nonconference home games under Bruce Pearl and improved to 31-4 under the third-year coach when scoring more than 80 points.

Deron Brown led the Division II Boll Weevils with 11 points and five assists before fouling out.

No. 12 Michigan State 83, Louisiana-Monroe 65

Freshman Chris Allen scored 17 points and All-American Drew Neitzel had 15 to help host Michigan State withstand a 3-point barrage and beat Louisiana-Monroe in a CBE Classic regional final.

The Spartans (2-0) blew a 47-35 halftime lead and trailed 57-56 with 13:46 left. But with several second and third opportunities, Michigan State scored the next 11 points and held the Warhawks scoreless for 6:42.

Jordan Payne had 27 points for the Warhawks (1-2), who hit 14 3-pointers.

No. 15 Texas A&M 81, UTEP 76

Josh Carter scored 23 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, and host Texas A&M held off a plucky UTEP team.

Carter's 3-pointer with 2:15 left put A&M ahead 71-68. UTEP got a pair of free throws from Marvin Kilgore before Derrick Roland's layup put made it 73-70.

Bryan Davis got a steal to set up Dominique Kirk's jumper to push A&M's lead to 75-70 with 50 seconds left. Roland forced a UTEP turnover on the next possession and hit a free throw and Donald Sloan added a free throw to make it 77-70.

Stefon Jackson's 3 with 13 seconds remaining cut the lead to 77-73. Kirk made two free throws before Randy Culpepper's 3 with five second left made it 79-76.

The Miners were finally put away for good with a dunk by Joseph Jones with a second left. Jones had 15 points and Kirk had 14.

No. 25 Butler 76, Indiana State 48

At Indianapolis, A.J. Graves scored 26 points and Butler beat Indiana State.

Graves shot 8-for-12 from the field and made six 3-pointers. Mike Green had 15 points and eight rebounds and Pete Campbell added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs (2-0).

Jay Tunnell and Gabriel Moore both scored 10 points to lead Indiana State (1-1).