Jan. 7, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Tyler Hansbrough had 24 points and third-ranked North Carolina bounced back from its first loss by beating College of Charleston 108-70 on Wednesday night.

Deon Thompson added 15 points for the Tar Heels (14-1) in their first game since Sunday's stunning 85-78 home loss to Boston College. North Carolina used a 19-2 run spanning halftime to turn the game into a rout, shot 59 percent for the game and cracked the 100-point mark for the fifth time this year.

North Carolina had held the No. 1 ranking from the preseason until Sunday's loss to the Eagles in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener, a game in which the Tar Heels trailed by 15 points against a team picked to finish 11th in the league race. Before Sunday, the Tar Heels -- who returned their top six scorers from a Final Four team that won a school-record 36 games -- had won every game by double figures and were even hearing questions about whether they could go unbeaten even as they sounded eager to see how they'd handle a tougher game.

Now the Tar Heels face a critical early ACC contest at fourth-ranked Wake Forest this weekend as they seek to avoid an 0-2 start in league play.

At the least, North Carolina's offense looked a lot sharper than they did against the Eagles. After shooting 29 percent in the second half against BC, the Tar Heels became the first team in more than three decades to score 100 points against the Cougars (10-3), ending a 951-game streak that began in December 1977 and ranked second nationally.

Hansbrough finished 10-for-13 from the field to go with seven rebounds, while Thompson and Ty Lawson each had strong bounceback performances after struggling against BC. Thompson had six rebounds and made 5-of-6 free throws after scoring just five points and going 1-for-6 from the line against the Eagles.

Lawson had 15 points and eight assists after scoring 10 on 3-for-13 shooting against BC and Tyrese Rice.

College of Charleston hung around early by hitting eight first-half 3s and trailed just 45-39 with 3 minutes left in the first half. But the Tar Heels got their transition game going, getting an alley-oop layup from Danny Green before Lawson's runner at the buzzer gave the Tar Heels a 53-41 lead at the break.

The Tar Heels put the game out of reach quickly, scoring the first 11 points -- starting with a 3-pointer and ending with a transition layup from Wayne Ellington -- to make it 64-41 with 17:44 left.

North Carolina led by as many as 43 points from there, as the Cougars shot just 8-for-37 (22 percent) in the second half.

Tony White Jr. scored 16 points to lead College of Charleston, which missed 13 of 15 3-point tries after halftime.