Wed, 11/26/2008 - 04:46 — Press Release
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -Tyler Hansbrough was back for a second game and No. 1
North Carolina will be playing for a third title on Maui.
player of the year, who missed three weeks of practice and three games with a
leg injury, had 16 points to lead the Tar Heels to a 98-69 victory over Oregon
on Tuesday night in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
North Carolina (5-0) will play No. 8 Notre Dame on Wednesday night in
the championship game. The Fighting Irish beat No. 6 Texas 81-80 in the
semifinals in the season's first matchup of Top Ten teams.
Hansbrough scored 13 points in 25 minutes last Friday in an
84-67 win over UC Santa Barbara after missing games for the first time in his
college career because of a stress reaction in his right led.
his left ankle at the end of the game against the Gauchos and didn't play in the
Tar Heels' 115-70 opening-round win over Chaminade. That wasn't a real surprise
because coach Roy Williams had indicated he wouldn't play the senior in all
three games on Maui. Williams said after the Chaminade game that Hansbrough
would have played if it ``had been for the national championship.''
Against Oregon, Hansbrough looked like the player known as ``Psycho T,''
drawing plenty of contact down low on both offense and defense and diving on the
floor for loose balls. He finished 12-for-14 from the free throw line, proof he
wasn't avoiding contact in his 19 minutes.
He had 12 points and four
rebounds in 16 minutes as the Tar Heels took a 51-22 halftime lead over the
Ducks (3-2), a young team that looked good in a 92-69 first-round win over
Alabama but just couldn't stay with the nation's unanimous No. 1 team.
Danny Green had 21 points and freshman Ed Davis had 11 points and 13
rebounds for North Carolina, which led by as many 37 points in the second half.
Michael Dunigan had 18 points to lead Oregon.
North Carolina led
22-12 when it went on a 13-0 run that started with a 3-pointer by Danny Green
and ended with a 3 by Larry Drew II with 7:03 left in the half. The Ducks missed
nine shots during the run, including five underneath the basket where Hansbrough
led the Tar Heels' impressive defense that held Oregon to 8-of-38 shooting (21.1
percent) in the half.
North Carolina won the Maui Invitational in 1999
and 2004 and finished second in 1989 and 1995. A third title would put them one
behind Duke, which is 12-0 in the tournament.