Derrick Simmons grabs a loose ball from North Carolina's Wayne Ellington in the first half. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Dec. 19, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -Tyler Hansbrough scored 20 points and No. 2 North Carolina used an overwhelming first half to rout Florida Atlantic 105-52 on Tuesday night.
Brandan Wright added 15 points, and Reyshawn Terry and Wayne Ellington each had 14 for the Tar Heels (9-1), who won their sixth straight and reached 100 points for the fourth time this season.
North Carolina played one of the most dominating first halves in school history, shooting 74 percent from the field, holding Florida Atlantic (4-6) scoreless for more than 8 minutes, scoring 24 consecutive points and leading by what's believed to be a school-record 47 points at halftime.
The 53-point margin fell well shy of North Carolina's school-record 84 set in a 129-45 victory over Manhattan in 1985. It was the Owls' most lopsided loss since a school-record 58-point defeat (100-42) at Florida in 2000.
Ty Lawson added 11 points for the Tar Heels, whose five starters each reached double figures for the first time this season.
This rout came at the expense of one of North Carolina coach Roy Williams' former players. Owls coach Rex Walters played two seasons for Williams at Kansas, and led the Jayhawks to consecutive Big Eight titles in 1992 and '93 and one Final Four.
The Tar Heels' near-perfect first half saw them make 20 of 27 shots from the field, hit 22 of 24 free throws and outrebound the Owls 22-6.
The Tar Heels held Florida Atlantic scoreless for about an 8-minute stretch, and by the time Wright ended the 24-0 burst with a dunk midway through the half, North Carolina led 34-5.
Meanwhile, the Owls missed all eight of their shots and turned it over nine times during that miserable stretch and never came close to recovering.
Ellington made a 25-footer at the buzzer to give North Carolina a 65-18 halftime lead - the Tar Heels' highest-scoring half since they had 68 in the second half against George Mason on Dec. 7, 2003.
It also was the fewest points allowed in a half by North Carolina since Brigham Young managed 18 in November 2004 in the Maui Invitational.
School spokesman Steve Kirschner said the halftime margin was thought to be the Tar Heels' largest ever, but the school doesn't have complete halftime records.
DeAndre Rice had 13 points and Jeff Parmer had 11 for Florida Atlantic, which was without its leading scorer. Paul Graham, who has scored at least 13 points in every game this season, sat out after injuring an ankle in last week's win over Troy.