ACC Basketball: Hansbrough looked good in UNC’s Maui Classic title
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008
LAHAINA, Hawaii ó Tyler Hansbrough had 34 points against a Top Ten team and his coach said he’s about 75 percent. Top-ranked North Carolina won the EA Sports Maui Invitational by almost 30 points per game and its coach said the team can get a lot better.
Hansbrough, playing in just his third game of the season because of leg injuries, led the Tar Heels to a 102-87 victory over No. 8 Notre Dame in the championship game to win this title for the third time.
“He’s about 75 percent but he played better than that tonight. He was really fired up,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said of the reigning national player of the year. “It’s been tearing at him not to be able to play.”
Hansbrough was 13-of-19 from the field, hitting his shots down low, throwing down dunks and even making a 3-pointer. He grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots, including one by Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody, like Hansbrough a preseason All-America.
“One thing when you’re missing games is that it plays a little bit in your mind because you want to be out there but you have to take care of your body,” Hansbrough said. “To get a couple under my belt made me feel better about my game. I still feel out of shape, but that will come as I play.”
It wasn’t all Hansbrough for the Tar Heels (6-0), however.
Point guard Ty Lawson had too much speed in the open court for the Fighting Irish (4-1) and he finished with 22 points and 11 assists. He was selected tournament MVP after totaling 22 assists against two turnovers in the three games.
“It was just basically my teammates making shots for me and taking care of the ball, not putting it in jeopardy,” Lawson said. “That’s what I’ve been doing and I’m playing real well right now.”
Deon Thompson had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Tar Heels, who had a 44-36 rebound advantage and shot 55.7 percent from the field.
Harangody, who had to cover and be covered by Hansbrough despite being sick all day, had 13 points and seven rebounds.
“I feel for him a little bit,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “We had him on IV. He had flu symptoms, upset stomach, fever. He didn’t go to shootaround. He gave us everything he had. He feels really bad that he let everybody down but I told him, `We wouldn’t be playing tonight without you. We rode you pretty hard.”‘
Kyle McAlarney picked up the slack, scoring a career-high 39 points on a wild shooting show that saw him finish with 10-of-18 from behind the arc. He broke his own school record of nine 3s set last season.
“I just felt good, got my legs under me and was taking what the defense gives me,” McAlarney said. “I got lucky, got some open looks and got hot.”
That’s not what Williams thought.
“That was as good an exhibition of shooting the basketball as I’ve ever seen,” he said.
North Carolina shot 52.9 percent from the field in taking a 46-36 halftime lead, and the numbers were even better to start the second half. The Tar Heels built a 23-point cushion midway through the period.