CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Tyler Hansbrough didn't get much
scoring help from his North Carolina teammates as they rallied from
a 20-point deficit against Georgia Tech.
But the way the freshman was playing, it didn't matter.
Hansbrough set the Smith Center scoring record with 40 points
Wednesday night to lead the 23rd-ranked Tar Heels past Georgia Tech
82-75, helping them win for the fifth time in six games and
solidify their standing in the upper half of the Atlantic Coast
Hansbrough also set the ACC's freshman scoring record in a
determined effort for the Tar Heels (16-6, 7-4). And with this
dazzling one-man show, the unassuming yet relentless big man
nicknamed "Psycho T" can probably start etching his name on the
trophy for the ACC's rookie of the year -- if he hasn't already.
"The big fella was unbelievable," coach Roy Williams said.
"Just watching him out there tonight was something special,"
fellow freshman Bobby Frasor said.
Hansbrough broke the program's freshman mark of 31 points shared
by Walter Davis, Mike O'Koren, J.R. Reid and Antawn Jamison. He
also broke Joseph Forte's arena record of 38 points set against
Tulsa in 2000-01, putting his name alongside an impressive list of
greats like Tim Duncan, Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and
Grant Hill who played here in the 20-year history of the Smith
Hansbrough surpassed the previous ACC freshman mark of 38 points
by Clemson's Skip Wise against Penn in November 1974, and became
just the eighth Tar Heel to score at least 40 in a game.
"I didn't even know I had that many points," Hansbrough said.
"When you look at all the great players that have played here,
it's something down the line I'll talk about when I'm done playing
The 6-foot-9 forward finished with nearly half his team's
points, while Reyshawn Terry (13 points) and David Noel (10) were
the only other Tar Heels to hit double figures. Hansbrough went
13-for-17 from the field and 14-for-19 from the line to go with 10
rebounds, surpassing his previous best of 26 points against Boston
Only Duke's J.J. Redick -- who has scored 41 twice and has three
40-point games -- has scored more points in the ACC this season.
"The kid can really run the floor and you have to give him
credit," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "He works very
hard. We told our guys coming in that he probably runs the floor
harder than any freshman I've seen."
Anthony Morrow scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half to
lead the Yellow Jackets (10-13, 3-9), who couldn't follow their
weekend upset of No. 21 North Carolina State with another win over
a ranked opponent. Georgia Tech hasn't won at the Smith Center
Georgia Tech's 71-68 win over the Wolfpack snapped an eight-game
losing streak, and the Yellow Jackets picked up where they left off
by hitting their first nine 3-pointers to build a 50-30 lead late
in the first half.
But the Tar Heels hung around early thanks to two things:
Hansbrough and lots of free throws.
He scored 23 points and hit 11 of 13 free throws in the half,
part of the Tar Heels' 16-for-21 effort from the line on 17 fouls
by Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels also helped themselves defensively in the second
half. The Yellow Jackets shot 61 percent before the break,
including 9-for-10 from behind the arc -- a performance that had
Williams seething by halftime. But the Tar Heels held the Yellow
Jackets to just 8-for-22 shooting after the break, including
0-for-7 on 3s.
"It was the most frustrating half I've ever coached," Williams
said. "They had to play every possession, and I think we did a
much better job playing every possession in the second half."
North Carolina also got out in transition more in the second
half and shot 60 percent after the break, and finished 23-for-35 at
the line for the game.
The Tar Heels trailed 55-42 at halftime, and got seven straight
points from Hansbrough to cut the lead to five. They eventually
tied it at 61 when Terry knocked down a transition 3 off a feed
from Quentin Thomas with 12:52 left.
Hansbrough took over from there. He drove by Theodis Tarver for
a one-handed reverse layup that set the school's freshman scoring
mark and cut Georgia Tech's lead to 64-63 with 11:27 left. He
followed that with two free throws for the first lead of the second
half, then scored in transition to make it 67-64 with 9:34 left.
He tied the Smith Center record when he hit a circus one-handed
shot over his head and drew the foul for his 38th point and a 69-68
lead with 6:11 left. He hit the 40-point mark when he got by
Ra'Sean Dickey for a layup and a 76-70 lead with 4:10 left.
Georgia Tech got no closer than five points after that.