CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- No Division I coach reached the 500-win mark faster than Roy Williams. Fittingly, North Carolina used a quick start to give him that meaningful milestone.
Tyler Hansbrough had 24 points to lead the third-ranked Tar Heels to a 94-69 rout of High Point on Saturday night and give Williams his 500th career win -- a mark he said the coach kept silent about all week."I think he wanted us to concentrate more on the game, but everyone on the team pretty much knew that tonight was going to be his 500th win, and we wanted to play hard and get that done," Hansbrough said. "To be playing for him on the court, when he got his 500th victory, it's a special honor for all of us on the team."
Most Wins by Division I Head Coach in First 20 Seasons
Jerry Tarkanian, LBSU/UNLV
Roy Williams, Kansas/UNC*
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
Denny Crum, Louisville
Nolan Richardson, Tulsa & Arkansas
* -- Currently in 19th season
Williams reached the 500-win mark in his 19th season, a season earlier than Jerry Tarkanian did. After the game, he was presented with jerseys from the two schools he coached -- Kansas and North Carolina -- and thanked then-Jayhawks athletic director Bob Frederick for picking him in 1988 to succeed Larry Brown months after Kansas won the national title."He took a tremendous chance, and gave me the opportunity," Williams said. "And that's something that I've always felt extremely proud and thankful that he did give me the opportunity."Reyshawn Terry added 11 points for the Tar Heels (7-1) -- who never trailed, broke the game open with a 15-2 run midway through the first half and cruised to their fourth straight victory.North Carolina outrebounded the Panthers 43-25 and shot nearly 64 percent.Arizona Reid had 26 points and Mike Jefferson added 14 for High Point (6-4), whose three-game winning streak was snapped."They had more height, but I think I just had more heart," Reid said.Freshmen Ty Lawson and Brandan Wright added 11 points apiece, and Marcus Ginyard had 10 for North Carolina. Wright has reached double figures in each of his eight games.Williams joined Dean Smith (879 wins) and Frank McGuire (549) as North Carolina coaches with 500 victories and improved to 82-24 in his fourth season at North Carolina. He was 418-101 in 15 seasons at Kansas."I've been extremely lucky. That's the biggest thing," Williams said. "I've been extremely lucky to have the kind of players that I have had, and the character they've had has been extremely important to me."The Tar Heels took the drama out of their coach's milestone victory early, shooting nearly 66 percent in the first half and using an impressive run to turn it into a rout.Hansbrough broke a 10-all tie and started the decisive spurt with a dunk with 12:50 left in the half. Danny Green followed that with a 3-pointer and a dunk on consecutive possessions, and Terry's dunk with 8:44 left made it 23-12, pushing the Tar Heels' lead into double figures for good."(Williams) was just saying 'Guys, let's just be more assertive," Terry said. "Get on the backboards and do what we do, and let our defense start (to) dictate our offense. We just tried to get out there, get some defensive stops, get to the boards and make some things happen."North Carolina's largest lead of the half was 19 points, when Hansbrough's three-point play with 33 seconds left made it 45-26. High Point never got closer than 13 in the second half."We were completely overmatched," High Point coach Bart Lundy said. "Even at the end, I looked out there, and I subbed in my five guys, four of which are walk-ons, and he's still got two All-Americans on the floor even though he subbed all his guys in. Those are their players, and those are our players. That's just the way it is."Hansbrough had a week to stew after his worst game of the season, a seven-point performance against Kentucky, and the preseason All-America sophomore forward made up for it right away. He scored 12 points in the first half and made just the third 3-pointer of his career."I was kind of hesitant at first, but I was like, 'Just let it fly' -- if I miss it, I might come out of the game," Hansbrough said.High Point fell to 2-24 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference teams and 0-8 against North Carolina. The schools are located about 65 miles apart, but met for the first time since 1947.