Feb. 15, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Freshman Tyler Hansbrough set the Smith Center scoring record with 40 points Wednesday night to help No. 23 North Carolina rally from a 20-point deficit and beat Georgia Tech 82-75.
Hansbrough also set the school’s freshman scoring record in leading the Tar Heels (16-6, 7-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) to their fifth win in six games, solidifying their standing in the upper half of the league.
Hansbrough broke the program’s freshman mark of 31 points held by Mike O’Koren, J.R. Reid and Antawn Jamison. He also broke Joseph Forte’s arena record of 38 points set against Tulsa in 2000-01.
Anthony Morrow scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half to lead the Yellow Jackets (10-13, 3-9), who couldn’t follow their weekend upset of No. 21 North Carolina State with another win over a ranked opponent. Georgia Tech hasn’t won at the Smith Center since 1996.
Reyshawn Terry scored 13 points while David Noel added 10 as the only other Tar Heels to hit double figures.
But the way the 6-foot-9 freshman was playing, it didn’t matter.
Hansbrough finished 13-for-17 from the field and 14-for-19 from the line, surpassing his previous best of 26 points against Boston College earlier this month. He had 10 rebounds.
Georgia Tech’s 71-68 win over the Wolfpack snapped an eight-game losing streak, and the Yellow Jackets picked up where they left off by hitting their first nine 3-pointers to build a 50-30 lead late in the first half.
But the Tar Heels hung around thanks to two things: Hansbrough and lots of free throws.
He scored 23 points and hit 11 of 13 free throws in the half, part of the Tar Heels’ 16-for-21 effort from the line on 17 fouls by Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels cut the deficit to 55-42 at halftime, and got seven straight points from Hansbrough to cut the lead to five. They eventually tied it at 61 when Terry knocked down a transition 3 off a feed from Quentin Thomas with 12:52 left.
Hansbrough took over from there. He drove by Theodis Tarver for a one-handed reverse layup that set the freshman scoring mark and cut Georgia Tech’s lead to 64-63 with 11:27 left. He followed that with two free throws for the lead, then scored in transition to make it 67-64 with 9:34 left.
He tied the Smith Center record when he hit a circus one-handed shot over his head and drew the foul for his 38th point and a 69-68 lead with 6:11 left. He hit the 40-point mark when he got by Ra’Sean Dickey for a layup and a 76-70 lead with 4:10 left.
The Tar Heels also helped themselves defensively in the second half. The Yellow Jackets shot 61 percent in the first half, including 9-for-10 from behind the arc, but were just 8-for-22 after the break, 0-for-7 on 3s.
North Carolina shot 60 percent in the second half and was 23-for-35 at the line for the game.