Tar Heels step up their play, pound Bulldogs

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina's players returned to practice angry and frustrated by last week's loss at Southern California.

The Tar Heels then took it out on North Carolina-Asheville.

Freshman Danny Green had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead a balanced effort in North Carolina's (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP) 89-47 win on Wednesday night, an easy victory for a young team that was eager to apply lessons learned from the USC loss.

Reyshawn Terry, Tyler Hansbrough and Marcus Ginyard each added 14 points for the Tar Heels (7-2), who jumped to a 22-point lead just 10 minutes in and never looked back. Hansbrough also had eight steals, tying a Smith Center record and finishing one shy of tying
the school's single-game record set by Derrick Phelps in 1992.

"We needed a win tonight, not only the win but it was the way we won tonight," said Ginyard, who added five rebounds, three assists and three steals in 22 minutes.

The Tar Heels held the Bulldogs (2-7) to 30-percent shooting and forced 29 turnovers with 20 steals, which created transition scoring chances and kept them unbeaten against their instate neighbor from the Big South Conference.

The win was about more than just statistical improvement from the 74-59 loss at USC on Dec. 21, a game in which the Tar Heels were outscored 44-24 in the second half. Afterward, coach Roy Williams said the Trojans were the more aggressive team and
described his team's performance as "a total breakdown ... at both ends of the court."

On Wednesday, the Tar Heels were clearly the aggressors from the tip.

They set the mood on the game's first possession by hitting the glass for three offensive rebounds to set up Ginyard's jumper. They also played swarming, trapping defense that shut down the Bulldogs in the opening minutes and quickly drained any bit of drama out of
this one.

"It was just coming out and totally outplaying a team," Ginyard said. "We got outplayed in California and that's unacceptable, so we had to come back and play this hard tonight."

The Tar Heels certainly had time to think about the loss over the Christmas holiday before returning to practice Monday evening. But, just in case, Williams had the players review film of the loss in addition to running through oncourt drills.

"I really wanted to focus on getting the bad taste out of our mouths, and I think for the most part we did that," Williams said.

That was particularly true for Terry. The junior went scoreless in 17 foul-plagued minutes after averaging 14 points in the first seven games, but had a much easier time Wednesday with the exception of bricking a breakaway dunk late in the first half.

Oliver Holmes scored 16 points for the Bulldogs, who suffered their fourth lopsided loss to an Atlantic Coast Conference team this season.

The Bulldogs, who are coached by former North Carolina State player and assistant coach Eddie Biedenbach, opened the season with an 80-52 loss at Georgia Tech followed by a 79-63 loss at Wake Forest. The Bulldogs also lost to N.C. State 86-56 two weeks ago.

This one didn't go much better.

"You've got to come out with emotion and play every play like it's the last play. We didn't do that," Biedenbach said. "We didn't execute. We didn't move without the ball. We just didn't play."

The Tar Heels increased their first-half margin to as much as 47-11 on an alley-oop dunk from Bobby Frasor to Terry with 4:08 left in the half.

By halftime, eight Tar Heels had scored and North Carolina had shot 53 percent to take a 53-20 lead in a period filled with easy baskets. Eleven of North Carolina's 19 first-half field goals were layups and five were dunks, which helped energize a rather sedate holiday-break crowd.

Even more impressive was the Tar Heels' defense. They constantly harassed ballhandlers out beyond the 3-point arc, holding UNC-Asheville to nine first-half field goals and forcing 22
turnovers with 15 steals -- five from Hansbrough.

The Bulldogs managed just about their only offensive highlight when Holmes hit a halfcourt runner at the halftime horn.

"The USC game, we came out flat and they outhustled us in every sense of the word," said senior David Noel, who had 13 points.

"We wanted to come out and play the tempo that we wanted to play."