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Archive for Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tar Heels trounce Irish, 102-87

Hansbrough pours in 34 points in Maui Invitational title game

November 27, 2008

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No. 1 North Carolina 102, No. 8 Notre Dame 87

Lahaina, Hawaii — Tyler Hansbrough looked like his old self, and North Carolina looked like the unanimous No. 1.

The reigning national player of the year who had played in only two games this season because of leg injuries, Hansbrough had 34 points to lead the Tar Heels over Notre Dame on Wednesday night in the championship game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The title was their third in the 25 years of the tournament, second only to Duke’s four.

But what mattered more was that Hansbrough, who returned for his senior year, played at the level that made him the player of the year last season.

He was 13-of-19 from the field, hitting his shots down low, throwing down dunks and even making a three-pointer. He grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots, including one by Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody, like Hansbrough a preseason All-America.

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.

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.

No. 10 Purdue 71, Boston College 64

New York — E’Twaun Moore scored 19 points, and Purdue withstood a late rally in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

JaJuan Johnson added 12 points, Keaton Grant had 11 and Robbie Hummel 10 for the Boilermakers (5-0), who led by 19 with about 61⁄2 minutes left before the Eagles started whittling the lead.

Boston College got to 64-56 on a pair of free throws by Tyrese Rice with 1:42 left, then forced Grant into a turnover at the other end. But sophomore forward Corey Raji was called for an offensive foul, and the Boilermakers held on from the free-throw line.

Rice finished with 17 points for Boston College (3-2). Joe Trapani added 14 points and Josh Southern had nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

A sparse crowd turned out the night before Thanksgiving to see a pair of teams that excel at defense muddle through a first half that only Dick Butkus could love.

Every time Rice tried to drive from the wing, three Boilermakers were there to clog up the lane. Each time Hummel tried to spot up for three-pointer, it seemed a dozen Boston College players were shoving their hands in his face.

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