The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday January 27th

M. Basketball: Lawson's heroics lift Heels

TALLAHASSEE Fla. — In the final seconds" Florida State was prepared for Tyler Hansbrough — they just weren't prepared for what came next.

That would be the lightning strike that was Ty Lawson's 60-foot drive and buzzer-beating floater — a drive that started with only 3.2 seconds left and gave No. 6 North Carolina an 80-77 win against the Seminoles.

The plan in the huddle had been for Lawson to call time-out at halfcourt if FSU allowed it. But the Seminoles' soft defense allowed for Roy Williams' plan B.

""Throw it in to Tywon" and let him go as far as he could go and shoot it Williams said.

The result was a drive and 3-point runner that found the bottom of the net and an ensuing pile of blue jerseys on the court with Lawson in the middle.

I didn't see it get past the rim" Lawson said after the game — he was already being dogpiled.

But just before Lawson's shot, Danny Green had set the stage for UNC (18-2, 4-2 ACC) by picking his sixth steal of the night and converting a 3-point play to tie the game at 77.

That was the final tip in a seesaw second half that saw FSU (16-5, 3-3) come roaring back from a 13-point deficit.

Much of that comeback was the result of Seminole point guard Toney Douglas putting his team on his back. The senior hung 32 points on UNC, including 24 in the second half as he carried his team to a lead that lasted until the final buzzer.

God almighty" what a game he played" Williams said. Toney Douglas is a load.""

Countering Douglas' floating jumpers was Lawson as much of the second half turned into a point guards' duel — Douglas and Lawson went head-to-head and sometimes bucket-for-bucket. Lawson finished with 21 points" a team high.

Hansbrough and all of the UNC frontcourt struggled against the uber-athletic Seminoles. Hansbrough in particular was frustrated picking up four fouls and with eight points breaking a 55-game streak of double-figure scoring.

But all of his struggles were forgotten when in the waning seconds" it was Hansbrough who twice took the assignment of guarding the cat-quick Douglas on the perimeter. It was No. 50's hand that blocked Douglas' final shot.

""He didn't play very well" Williams said. I told him he stunk tonight but two straight defensive possessions" he did a great job of keeping the ball in front of him.""

The Tar Heels managed the win despite shooting only 38 percent for the game and turning the ball over a season-high 21 times. Williams gave credit for that number to the Seminole lineup.

""They're athletic" they're quick they have great size up front" Williams said of the Seminoles.

Our inability to shoot was directly related to their defense.""

With Hansbrough out for much of the game with foul trouble" freshman Ed Davis took up the mantle in the post" corralling eight rebounds and eight points in 22 minutes. Davis also swatted two shots on the evening.

""He was the only guy who was tough enough to go in there and get a rebound for us"" Williams said. A couple of his blocks were important for us in the first half.""


Contact the Sports Editor at sports@unc.edu.


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