CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)—Tyler Hansbrough had another huge scoring game at Georgia Tech’s expense. Once again, the only things more plentiful than points were bumps and bruises.
The North Carolina star scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half, with many coming from the free-throw line, and the fourth-ranked Tar Heels held Georgia Tech to its lowest-scoring game of the season in a 77-61 victory Saturday night.
“They were real physical tonight. I’ve been with some physical teams, and I’m used to that,” Hansbrough said.
Reyshawn Terry scored 10 of his 16 points in the opening 10 minutes for North Carolina (17-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
“Shots were just falling for me, and I was seeing defensive errors on their part and taking advantage of it,” Terry said.
The Tar Heels shot 47 percent, used a 25-10 second-half run to pull away for their 14th win in 15 games and joined Kentucky as the only NCAA schools with 1,900 victories.
Freshman Thaddeus Young had 22 points for Georgia Tech (13-5, 2-3), which set its previous scoring low in a 73-64 loss at Vanderbilt on Dec. 9.
“We just didn’t shoot the ball well tonight,” coach Paul Hewitt said. “It was a combination of their defense and us just not shooting well.”
Young scored 18 points in the final 20 minutes, falling two points shy of his career high of 24 set against Georgia on Dec. 22.
“They were very physical in the first half,” Young said. “We got kind of used to it in the second half.”
The Yellow Jackets fell to 0-4 on the road this season and have dropped 15 straight on their opponents’ home courts. They also are 4-24 all-time against North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
“We looked at it as we had a great opportunity tonight to put ourselves in a good position,” Hewitt said. “We let it slip.”
Hansbrough’s numbers weren’t quite as gaudy as the last time he faced Georgia Tech, when he set a career high with 40 points against the Yellow Jackets last February.
“Fortunately, Tyler has their number,” Terry said.
Again, the Yellow Jackets made nothing easy on the sophomore forward, whose points came on an assortment of contested layups, dunks and plenty of free throws. Hansbrough tied a career high with 14 made free throws, and missed only one of his 15 attempts. Last year, he was 14-of-19 from the line against Georgia Tech.
“Tyler getting to the free-throw line, I feel awfully comfortable when he steps up there,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.
The Tar Heels were in control all night, only briefly trailing in the game’s opening moments, gradually asserting themselves and then keeping the Yellow Jackets at bay the rest of the way.
North Carolina used an 8-2 burst late in the first half—keyed by 3-pointers 42 seconds apart by Wes Miller and Ty Lawson—to take their first double-figure lead, 30-20. After Wayne Ellington’s 3 from the right corner pushed the lead to 34-23 with just under 4 minutes remaining, the Yellow Jackets never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Georgia Tech pulled to 46-36 with about 14 minutes left on a 3-pointer by Young before the Tar Heels held the Yellow Jackets to two field goals over the next 9 minutes during their game-breaking run.
Danny Green capped the spurt with a 3 from the key to push the lead to 71-46 with 5 minutes left.
Freshman Brandan Wright failed to reach double figures for the first time as a Tar Heel, finishing with nine points.