Jan. 7, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Tyler Hansbrough scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and No. 2 North Carolina beat Florida State 84-58 on Sunday night for the Tar Heels’ 11th straight victory.
Freshman Brandan Wright had 20 points, and North Carolina (14-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) got the dominating victory it needed to perhaps ascend to No. 1 when The Associated Press Top 25 is released Monday.
Al Thornton had 29 points to lead Florida State (12-4, 0-2).
North Carolina took control with a 20-7 run late in the first half, then broke the game open by starting the second half on a 15-6 run that pushed the Tar Heels’ lead into double figures to stay.
North Carolina, which remained perfect at home and has won nine of its 10 games at the Dean Smith Center by at least 12 points, made a strong case for taking over the top spot from UCLA, which was upset over the weekend by Oregon.
Jason Rich added 10 points for Florida State, which has followed an eight-game winning streak with consecutive conference losses.
The Tar Heels won their fifth straight in the series, and they didn’t need any last-second heroics this time.
In their last meeting on Jan. 22, 2006, North Carolina won 81-80 on two late free throws by Reyshawn Terry and a missed last-gasp heave at the buzzer by Thornton.
Hansbrough played a big part in both of North Carolina’s significant spurts.
He scored five points during the Tar Heels’ run late in the first half, starting the spurt by driving down the lane and dunking to put the Tar Heels ahead for good with a 14-13 lead. The run ended when Wes Miller’s 3-pointer from the right wing made it 32-20 with 4:26 until halftime.
Then, Hansbrough scored eight points – including a pair of three-point plays – and the Tar Heels opened the second half with the run that put them up by double figures to stay.
Danny Green’s 3-pointer with 15:46 remaining ended the run and gave North Carolina a 51-36 lead.
Florida State fell to 1-4 against ranked teams with its lone victory coming against defending national champion Florida on Dec. 3.