Hansbrough powers No. 2 North Carolina past Sacred Heart
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Tyler Hansbrough scored 29 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the second-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels to a 103-81 win over the Sacred Heart Pioneers in the regional semifinal of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Hansbrough dominated in the first half, scoring 18 of Carolina's 42 points while a tough Sacred Heart team hung close.
Reyshawn Terry added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Tar Heels (1-0). Brandan Wright, Wayne Ellington, and Ty Lawson -- all part of North Carolina's talented freshman class -- scored 10 points apiece.
Luke Granato kept Sacred Heart (0-2) close for much of the game, scoring 24 points, all from behind the arc as he hit a Pioneers-record eight three- pointers. Drew Shubik scored 13 for Sacred Heart, and Boston College transfer Tavio Hobson contributed 11 points.
North Carolina will face Winthrop at 7 p.m. (et) Wednesday night for the right to advance to the semifinals in New York City on November 22.
North Carolina rode a 24-5 run midway through the second half to a comfortable 68-46 lead that the Pioneers never seriously threatened.
Sacred Heart hung close for the first half, holding a 16-11 lead after a Granato three-pointer at 14:40 of the first half. A Hansbrough dunk put Carolina ahead 20-18 at 12:19 of the first half, and the Tar Heels never looked back.
Hobson made it interesting for the Pioneers, though, drilling an NBA-length three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Tar Heels lead to 42-37 at halftime.
Sacred Heart's Ryon Howard fell under the basket early in the second half, appearing to suffer an injury to his right knee, and did not return...North Carolina shot 58.8 percent for the game, including 62.9 percent in the second half...Sacred Heart outscored North Carolina on the fast break, 23-16, but the Hansbrough-led Tar Heels pounded Sacred Heart underneath, outscoring the Pioneers 68-28 in the paint.
11/14 23:17:58 ET