Monday, February 25, 2008

NO COUNTRY FOR YOUNG DEACONS

#3 NORTH CAROLINA 89, WAKE FOREST 73

You wann run? Let’s run…

…but if you miss a shot you’re in trouble.

Last night against UNC, Wake shot 48% from the field (better than when they whipped the Blue Devils), but suffered 19 turnovers and 11 steals. More importantly, when they did miss, the Deacons were out rebounded 35 to 19. When they beat Duke, Wake enjoyed a 41 to 33 rebounding edge.

The Deacons used an up tempo style to beat Duke, and then had a week to prepare for an equally high octane approach against the Tar Heels. It didn’t help.

Amidst talk of Coach of Year for Wake coach Dino Gaudio and renewed clamor about an invitation to a certain upcoming dance (both deserved, mind you), ultimately turnovers, rebounds, poor foul shooting and foul trouble all tilted the basketball universe back over into UNC’s favor.

Score one for the status quo sending the Demon Deacons back to the drawing board.

Tyler Hansbrough had 29 points to continue his late-season surge while Wayne Ellington added 17 in the Tar Heels' 89-73 win over Wake Forest on Sunday night, helping them move a half-game ahead of Duke.

It was Hansbrough’s seventh straight game with at least 22 points, a streak that began when the Tar Heels lost point guard Ty Lawson to a sprained left ankle in the early minutes of an overtime win at Florida State on Feb. 3.

Hansbrough is averaging 28 points and 12.1 rebounds during that stretch, helping pad his lead as the conference leader in both categories. He managed just five rebounds, but had four steals in 37 minutes.

Danny Green had 15 points for the Tar Heels (26-2, 11-2 ACC), who shot 56 percent -- 7-for-14 from 3-point range -- to win its fourth straight in the series and fifth in a row overall.

Ellington, meanwhile, went 3-for-5 from 3-point range, marking the fifth straight game he has hit at least three 3s. His biggest came just before halftime, when he took a high inbounds pass from Green and knocked down a contested 3 from the far left corner in front of the Wake Forest bench. That gave North Carolina a 50-41 lead at the break that would grow to as many as 21 points.

The Tar Heels kept attacking the Demon Deacons (16-9, 6-6) to get them in foul trouble and get to the line. Wake Forest was whistled for six fouls in the first 4 minutes, while 7-foot center Chas McFarland -- matched up with Hansbrough early -- picked up his fourth foul 48 seconds into the second half.
Ishmael Smith #10 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons dives for a loose ball with Alex Stepheson #32 and teammate Wayne Ellington #22 of the North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough drives past Wake Forest's Chas McFarland during the first half . (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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