No. 2 UNC Crushes Saint Louis
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Tyler Hansbrough had 15 points and matched his career best with 13 rebounds, making his homecoming trip a big success as visiting No. 2 North Carolina defeated Saint Louis last night, 69-48.
Danny Green added 14 points and Brandan Wright and Ty Lawson each had 12 for the Tar Heels (10-1), who pulled away after leading by one at halftime. The result was a convincing win in the program's first game in St. Louis since Coach Roy Williams led them to an NCAA title here in 2005.
The game drew a record crowd of 22,539 to the Scottrade Center, and it was bolstered by several thousand Carolina-blue wearing faithful that nearly turned it into a neutral site. Among the crowd were about 3,000 fans from Hansbrough's hometown of Poplar Bluff, Mo., a town of about 16,000 near the Missouri boot heel.
Ian Vouyoukas had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Billikens (9-3), who lost for the first time in six home games.
Hansbrough hoped his homecoming wouldn't be a distraction and he helped settle down North Carolina, scoring on a putback on the third shot of a possession after the Tar Heels had missed their first six shots combined with two turnovers. He earned his third double-double.
· NEVADA 73, AKRON 71: Nick Fazekas scored 24 points to help the No. 25 Wolfpack hold off the host Zips. Ramon Sessions added 22 points for Nevada (10-1), which tied the best start in history, set in 1978-79 and matched last season.
Dru Joyce scored 23 points and Travis Romeo had 11 to lead Akron (7-3).
Nevada used an 8-0 run to take a 65-61 lead with four minutes to play. Then Nick Dials was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all the free throws to get the Zips within one point with 3 minutes 36 seconds left.
Joyce missed a free throw with 3:01 to go that would have tied it at 67, but he hit his fifth three-pointer of the game to get the Zips within 71-69 with 1:50 left.
Fazekas made his first eight shots as Nevada went on a 17-6 run to lead 41-33 at halftime.
· BUTLER 76, EVANSVILLE 65: In Indianapolis, A.J. Graves scored 22 points and Mike Green added 16 to pace the 16th-ranked Bulldogs.
It was the 15th straight home win for the Bulldogs (12-1) and their fourth straight victory in the 112-game series with their in-state rival.
Jason Holsinger had 17 points for Evansville (8-4), which had a four-game winning streak ended.
The Aces closed to 28-23 late in the first half, but Graves's three-pointer made it 37-30 at halftime.
· SYRACUSE 85, HOFSTRA 60: Demetris Nichols scored 20 points, Josh Wright and Paul Harris each had 12, and the No. 23 Orange won at home to snap the Pride's six-game winning streak.
Hofstra (6-4) last visited the Carrier Dome two years ago and Syracuse (10-3) had to overcome a six-point deficit in the final eight minutes, eventually winning 80-75. This time, it was no contest as the Orange went 33 for 40 from the free throw line.
Antoine Agudio had 22 points to lead Hofstra.