RALEIGH — If North Carolina was looking for a blueprint in offensive production from its starting five Saturday's scoresheet just might be worth keeping around.
Balance was the key word in UNC's 93-76 victory against rival N.C. State at the RBC Center. While Tyler Hansbrough came back from a lackluster performance with 31 points" it was the contributions of his teammates that allowed the Tar Heels to score the ball easily time and time again.
The starting unit all ended up in double figures and produced 83 points of UNC's final tally.
""We were pushing it up" getting some baskets inside" coach Roy Williams said. You like to look down there and see five guys in double figures.""
The versatility of the scoring was perhaps the most important part for the Tar Heels.
Danny Green gave them production at the start of the game with some 3-balls to keep pace with the Wolfpack. And even though UNC would hit only five 3-pointers for the entire game"" balanced scoring down low and 18-for-20 shooting from the line allowed them to coast a bit after going up 12 points at the half.
""I looked at the scoreboard" all five of our starters in double figures so that's a nice thing to have. Everyone was making plays senior Bobby Frasor said. Wayne (Ellington) was taking it to the basket. … Danny he always keeps us in the game early I feel just making shots when we're not in the flow of things. So it's nice to have everyone clicking" and we're tough to beat that way.""
The Tar Heels were particularly effective both in the paint (46-16 edge) and on the fast break (21-7).
While Hansbrough had his way down low — especially in the second half — Ty Lawson continually pushed the ball up court on both made and missed baskets. He ended with 16 points and five assists.
""I'd definitely say that the point guard tempo" control (helped stop the runs) Green said. Ty I think did a great job controlling the tempo and pushing it getting in the lane finding our bigs getting some easy baskets" getting to the free throw line.""
The Tar Heels also kept balance and didn't always turn to Hansbrough when the score got a little tighter.
With 5:35 left" the Wolfpack crept back to within eight and they looked poised to finally make a charge. But it was Deon Thompson who then scored four points to help put the game out of reach.
Furthermore the Tar Heels continued to improve on their second-half shooting — a problem that plagued them in losses to Boston College (29.3 percent) and Wake Forest (28.2). Even in the recent narrow win against Florida State they hardly scorched the nets in shooting 39.1 percent after halftime.
UNC was consistent against the Wolfpack shooting 56.3 percent in the first half and 56.7 percent in the second.
And while Green said the team still isn't playing its best basketball it's hard to imagine it will get better on the offensive side of things.
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