Tar Heels Topple Terrapins, 108-91
Feb. 3, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 34 points and No. 3 North Carolina hit a season-best 16 3-pointers in its sixth straight victory, a 108-91 rout of Maryland on Tuesday night.
Tyler Hansbrough had 24 points and Ty Lawson added 21 for the Tar Heels (20-2, 6-2). The Atlantic Coast Conference's hottest team used some early long-distance touch to clinch their fifth 20-win season under Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams.
Danny Green finished with 16 points for North Carolina, which hit 11 of its first 14 attempts from behind the arc and finished one 3-pointer shy of the school record set against Florida State in 1995.
The Tar Heels shot 51.4 percent, hit the 100-point mark for the sixth time and snapped a two-game losing streak in the series with its first win against Maryland since 2006.
Freshman Sean Mosley scored a season-high 19 points, Cliff Tucker added 18 and Greivis Vasquez scored 13 for the Terrapins (14-8, 3-5), who hoped to draw some confidence from their return to the arena where last year they became the first team to beat the then-No. 1 Tar Heels.
But they only briefly led this time and were handed their sixth loss in nine games since Jan. 3, falling to 0-4 on the road with a second straight blowout on Tobacco Road. Two weeks ago, they were routed by 41 points at Duke after allowing the Blue Devils to make 48 percent of their 3s.
With the Tar Heels showing off his rediscovered touch, the Terps didn't stand a chance.
Ellington, the shooting guard who returned to Chapel Hill for his junior season after considering a jump to the NBA, has struggled at times to find his shot.
But these days, he seems to have figured things out, hitting the 20-point mark for the third time in five games - including a previous season-high of 25 against Clemson. He had 21 points by halftime, finished with a career-best seven 3s and was two points shy of the career-high 36 points he scored last season at Clemson.
Ellington and Green both were 4-for-5 from long range in the opening 20 minutes, with Lawson adding three 3s - including one from the right wing barely 9 minutes in that put the Tar Heels up by double figures for good.
But for all of North Carolina's early accuracy from beyond the arc, the most significant play early may have come in the paint. Hansbrough bulled through the lane when Dino Gregory delivered a hard, intentional foul to the reigning national player of the year.
That started a scoring spree in which the Tar Heels came away with points on 12 of their next 15 trips downcourt, a run capped by Hansbrough's dunk with 3:42 before the break made it 54-34.
Hansbrough, who had his school-record 119th double-figure scoring game, moved into third place on the ACC's scoring list ahead of North Carolina State's Rodney Monroe.
Eric Hayes and Dave Neal both finished with 10 points for Maryland.