Green's Career-High 20 Leads Tar Heels Over Wildcats

Saturday, December 1st 2007, 4:30 pm
By: News On 6

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Danny Green had a career-high 20 points, and No. 1 North Carolina overpowered Kentucky 86-77 Saturday for the Tar Heels' fourth straight victory in the annual matchup between college basketball's winningest programs.

The Tar Heels are off to a 7-0 start for the first time under coach Roy Williams and the for the first time since the 1998-99 squad began the season 8-0. Kentucky is now 4-2 under new coach Billy Gillispie.

Fouls were the story in this one, as Kentucky committed 25, preventing the Wildcats from generating little rhythm against North Carolina's physical and quick attack.

For the third straight year, the Wildcats used a swarm defense to largely limit North Carolina's post power, Tyler Hansbrough. Unlike the past two years, in which he scored a combined 13 points, Hansbrough racked up his points at the free throw line, where he made 10 of 12 shots.

Hansbrough finished with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season.

Patrick Patterson, Kentucky's blue-chip freshman power forward, held is own against Hansbrough but had little help from his teammates. Top shot-blocker Perry Stevenson picked up his fourth foul with 8 minutes left in the first half, and fouled out early in the second.

Up 44-39 early in the second half, the Tar Heels went on a 13-0 run to put the game out of reach. Bobby Frasor finished the streak with two 3-pointers, the last one silencing the Rupp Arena crowd as he pumped his fist.

Patterson ended the Kentucky drought by drawing a foul and hitting one of two free throws, but that was Kentucky's first trip to the line. By then, North Carolina had taken 14 free throws, making 13.

Kentucky's defense helped the Wildcats play with North Carolina early, but every time the Wildcats made a big basket, Green, a junior swingman, seemed to have an answer.

He scored North Carolina's last 10 points of the first half, eight of them in a span of just over a minute, using 3-pointers to answer a 3 by Joe Crawford and a dunk by A.J. Stewart, then a layup to answer Crawford's layup.

It was Green's sixth straight game scoring in double digits, all as a reserve. His previous career high was 17 points on Nov. 19, 2005, against Gardner-Webb.

On Friday, Williams was doubting that Ty Lawson, the sophomore point guard who missed the Ohio State game with a sprained ankle, would be available against the Wildcats. He did play, providing his usual spark, including a steal and fastbreak layup that generated energy for the Tar Heels midway through their second half run.

While Lawson started, Kentucky's regular point guard, Ramel Bradley, was not in the lineup for the tipoff. Bradley entered less than 2 minutes in, but had only two assists. He did score 19 points, as did Patterson. Crawford led the team with 21.

The Tar Heels led 37-32 at halftime. Patterson scored the first bucket of the second half to cut the deficit to three points, but the Wildcats would get no closer.

Kentucky leads all Division I programs with 1,952 wins, while North Carolina is second at 1,921. The teams have played 30 times, with North Carolina winning 20 of them.