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Friday, March 20, 2009

Sans Lawson, Heels dump Radford

Posted by on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 2:43 PM

TV/CBS — We may never know for certain whether Roy Williams was sandbagging the extent of Ty Lawson's toe injury, the continuation of which has caused great consternation throughout the North Carolina fanbase.

But if the Hall of Fame coach made a calculated decision to hold Lawson out for one more game due to his belief that the Tar Heels could handle Radford without its star point guard, he guessed correctly.

Dominating the game from start to finish, No. 1 seed UNC battered the No. 16 Highlanders 101-58 on Thursday afternoon to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

While Lawson's big toe has become a national story, Tyler Hansbrough somewhat quietly broke J.J. Redick's all-time ACC scoring record. Hansbrough shot just 5-for-16 from the floor but scored 22 points thanks to 12-for-12 shooting from the foul line.

Junior wing Wayne Ellington continued his outstanding play, leading all scorers with 25 points, and he added eight rebounds and three assists. Of the four players likely to take a look at the NBA in the offseason — seniors Hansbrough and Danny Green, and juniors Lawson and Ellington — the silky guard from Pennsylvania actually may have been the team's best player over the past couple weeks.

In all, it was a complete domination. Carolina held Radford to 28 percent shooting for the game, and field goal percentage defense certainly has not been a hallmark of this team.

The Heels will play LSU — a winner over Butler in the first round — on Saturday evening, and again, there's no clear word on Lawson.

To see the UNC/Radford box score, click here.

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