TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- North Carolina's Ty Lawson was supposed to take a timeout. Instead, he hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The speedy point guard's running shot as time expired gave the Tar Heels (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) an 80-77 victory over Florida State on Wednesday despite an off night by foul-plagued Tyler Hansbrough."I just ran with it," Lawson said. "There wasn't enough time to get a pass off."Lawson took an inbounds pass with 3.2 seconds left and raced downcourt, swishing his shot at near full speed from the top of the arc. As soon as the ball went through, teammates rushed over and mobbed him."I was supposed to go to halfcourt and get a timeout, but that wasn't open. So Coach told me, if that didn't happen, get the ball and just run with it," Lawson said outside a jubilant North Carolina locker room.The Tar Heels overcame 32 points from Florida State's Toney Douglas, who scored 24 in the second half to help the Seminoles wipe out a 52-39 deficit and give themselves a chance to win.Florida State (16-5, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) couldn't get off a shot on its final possession, however. The shot clock expired, giving the ball back to the Tar Heels and setting up Lawson's buzzer-beater."I saw there was 1 second on the clock and shot a floater," Lawson said. "It went in luckily. I wasn't sure."North Carolina (18-2, 4-2) was led by Lawson's 21 points. Danny Green added 20 and Wayne Ellington 14, making up for Hansbrough's quiet game.Last season's national player of the year scored only eight points, falling short of double figures for the first time in 56 games. He had five points in a 74-64 victory over Southern California in the third round of the 2007 NCAA tournament.The Tar Heels won despite shooting 38.1 percent and committing a season-high 21 turnovers."How lucky we were," coach Roy Williams said. "That's the bottom line."Douglas, averaging 27 points over his last four ACC games, was 9-of-20 from the floor and 13-of-14 at the free throw line. Uche Echeful added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Seminoles."Toney Douglas is a wrecking crew for them," Williams said. "What a game he played."North Carolina scored 35 points in the final 8:55 of the first half to take a 46-35 lead despite Hansbrough spending much of the time on the bench in foul trouble."I thought we lost our focus on the defensive end," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.Hansbrough scored only two points in the half."I couldn't do anything but cheer for my teammates," he said."Maybe I played bad, but we won," Hansbrough added. "On a buzzer beater!"Lawson sprained his left ankle 4 minutes into last year's game at Florida State after colliding with 240-pound Ryan Reid underneath the North Carolina basket. Lawson missed much of the remainder of the season.But he was at full speed this time."They made one more great play than we did," Hamilton said.