Jan. 21, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Wayne Ellington had another big game against Clemson, and No. 5 North Carolina added another year of misery to the 10th-ranked Tigers' streak of futility in Chapel Hill.

Ellington had 25 points to help the Tar Heels beat the Tigers 94-70 on Wednesday night, keeping North Carolina perfect in 54 home games against Clemson.

Tyler Hansbrough added 20 points for the Tar Heels (17-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), whose 54-0 run against the Tigers here is an NCAA record for the longest home winning streak against one opponent. North Carolina took control late in the first half and used a 24-4 run spanning the break to build an 18-point lead early in the second half.

Clemson (16-2, 2-2) never got closer than 13 the rest of the way and trailed by as many as 27 points. It was the Tigers' second consecutive defeat after a 16-0 start, following Saturday's home loss to Wake Forest that propelled the Demon Deacons to the No. 1 ranking this week.

Ellington was coming off a 23-point performance last weekend against Miami in which he hit eight straight shots in the second half, seven from behind the arc, after a slow start to the season. He followed that by picking up where he left off in last year's season-long torture of the Tigers.

Ellington averaged 29 points in three meetings against Clemson last season, including a career-high 36 and the last-second 3-pointer on the road for the win in the first meeting. This time, he finished 9-for-15 from the field to go with a career-high seven assists and six rebounds.

It marked the first time in his career that he's had consecutive 20-point games.

With Ellington rediscovering his shot, North Carolina's offense looked about as sharp as it has in weeks despite Hansbrough being relatively quiet against Clemson's physical frontline until the game was in hand. North Carolina shot 53 percent for the game, while Deon Thompson -- after failing to reach double figures in the first four conference games -- had 15 points.

Ty Lawson added 16 points and seven assists for North Carolina.

Terrence Oglesby scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half for Clemson, and his third 3-pointer of the half gave the Tigers a 38-36 lead with 3:31 left. But North Carolina's offense got going behind Ellington, who hit a 3 off a feed from Lawson in the final seconds to cap a 9-2 spurt that gave the Tar Heels a 45-40 halftime lead.

The Tar Heels dominated from there, starting the second half with a 15-2 run that ended with consecutive scores from Hansbrough to make it 60-42 with 14:31 left.

The Tigers, meanwhile, got nothing going in the second half, missing 16 of their first 20 shots before finishing the half at 10-for-35 (29 percent).

Hansbrough had to leave the game briefly in the first half after being hit in the mouth during a scramble under the basket. The school said he had a loosened front tooth and he had to play the rest of the way with a mouthpiece.