Hansbrough leads North Carolina past pesky Eastern Kentucky
Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) – Tyler Hansbrough scored 21 points on 9-
of-11 shooting, and pulled down 10 rebounds as North Carolina survived a
scare and trounced Eastern Kentucky, 86-65, in the opening round of the East
Region of the NCAA Tournament at Joel Coliseum.
Hansbrough, who suffered a fractured nose in the Tar Heels’ final regular
season game, dominated on the blocks despite being hampered by a protective
Reyshawn Terry added 18 points and was 8-of-9 from the field for the top-
seeded Tar Heels (29-6), who won both the ACC regular season and
tournament titles. Brandan Wright chipped in with 13 points and six boards,
while Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson both finished with 12 points.
North Carolina — which shot a sizzling 65 percent in the game — will now
move on to face ninth-seeded Michigan State in the second round on Saturday.
Darnell Dialls had 17 points for the 16th-seeded Colonels (21-12), who were
coming off an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship. Adam Leonard
tallied 14 points and Mike Rose netted 13 in the loss.
Eastern Kentucky was down by as many as 27 points in the first half and still
trailed by 12 entering the final frame but the plucky Colonels kept chipping
A Rose lay-in drew Eastern Kentucky within four points, 48-44, and had
Carolina fans all over the country sweating.
But the Tar Heels finally responded, scoring seven straight to regain control.
Consecutive buckets by Hansbrough finished the flurry and extended North
Carolina’s lead back to double digits, 55-44, with 13:32 left in the
It seemed like the Colonels expended too much energy clawing back into the
game the first time and didn’t have anything left for another run. Terry’s
trey, with just over nine minutes to go, put the Tar Heels on top 67-50.
North Carolina continued to impose its will from there and coasted to the
The Tar Heels jumped all over Eastern Kentucky from the opening tip. North
Carolina scored the first seven points of the game when Hansbrough sandwiched
a pair of jumpers around a Lawson three.
After Rose finally stopped the bleeding with a three of his own, the Tar Heels
ripped off a 15-0 run. Terry capped the burst with a three and North Carolina
had a commanding 22-3 lead with 13:29 left in the half.
The Tar Heels kept pouring it on from there. Another Lawson three extended the
North Carolina advantage to 27, 39-12, its largest of the game.
The Colonels finally awoke from there. A 14-2 burst, featuring a heavy dose
of Leonard, drew Eastern Kentucky within 15, 41-26, with 3:57 left in the
They kept chipping away from there and closed the gap to 12, 47-35, at
Eastern Kentucky is now 0-7 in the NCAA Tournament…The Tar Heels have
won the national championship four times, and they have made 39 appearances in
the tourney, second only to Kentucky in that category. UNC is 90-37 all-time
at the “Big Dance”…A 16 seed has never beaten a top seed in the tourney.
They are 0-90…Eastern Kentucky won its only previous meeting with North
Carolina back during the 1950-51 campaign.