Lawson leads UNC over Wake Forest
Published 4:47 am Thursday, January 25, 2007
By By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM — Ty Lawson heard coach Roy Williams nag him at halftime about how frequently he was shooting.
But the veteran North Carolina coach didn’t want his freshman point guard shooting less often — instead, he wanted him to shoot more.
Lawson got the message, scoring all 15 of his points in the second half of the fourth-ranked Tar Heels’ 88-60 rout of Wake Forest on Wednesday night.
Fellow freshman Wayne Ellington led the way with 18 points to break out of a scoring slump. He was kept under double figures in three of five previous games and hadn’t scored more than 12 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Tyler Hansbrough added 13 points for the Tar Heels (18-2, 5-1), who outscored the Demon Deacons 46-23 in the second half en route to their third straight win and 15th in 16 games.
Danny Green and freshman Brandan Wright added 12 points apiece for North Carolina, which won its second straight against Wake Forest.
It was the Tar Heels’ most lopsided victory over the Demon Deacons since a 29-point romp in 1986, and their largest margin of victory in a road game against them. The latest rout helped North Carolina improve to 3-6 in its last nine meetings with Wake Forest.
Statistically, this one shaped up as a mismatch from the start — with the ACC’s best offense matching up against its worst defense — but the Demon Deacons hung with the Tar Heels for little over a half before wilting.
After halftime, North Carolina shot 57 percent and held Wake Forest to under 26 percent shooting.
Visser — the only remaining player who was part of the Chris Paul-led team that reached No. 1 in 2005 — had 16 points to lead Wake Forest (9-10, 1-6), which started two freshmen, lost its fifth straight and fell deeper into the ACC cellar.
The Tar Heels needed Lawson twice in the final 20 minutes to help fend off the Demon Deacons.
After Wake Forest pulled to within 44-41 in the opening moments of the second half, Lawson scored six straight points to give the Tar Heels some breathing room.
Then after Jamie Skeen’s 3-pointer pulled the Demon Deacons within 52-46 with 16 minutes left, Lawson hit a 3 to start a 30-6 run over about a 10-minute stretch to seal the outcome.