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February 26, 2006
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The Tar Heels (19-6, 10-4 ACC) won easily to help solidify their hold on second place in the conference behind No. 1 Duke and clinch a first-round bye in the conference tournament. North Carolina has a half-game lead over N.C. State and is a game ahead of Boston College.
The top four teams receive byes.
North Carolina shot only 41 percent from the field - the first time in five games it failed to make at least 50 percent.
For the Terrapins (16-11, 6-8), chances of returning to the NCAA tournament after a one-year hiatus continue to wane. They were even worse from the field (27 percent), had 17 turnovers and lost for the seventh time in nine games. Ekene Ibekwe had 12 points and Mike Jones added 11.
Ginyard's 3-pointer midway through the first half gave North Carolina a 10-point lead for the first time, and the margin quickly grew. It was 46-28 soon after halftime before Maryland finally found some offense, as Jones swished a 3, Travis Garrison turned a turnover into a layup and James Gist made a jumper.
The margin still was 11 following a dunk by Nik Caner-Medley, and that's when the Tar Heels began pulling away.
Noel scored on consecutive possessions and reserve Byron Sanders tipped in a miss by Danny Green to make it 54-39. A fast-break jumper by Quentin Thomas continued what eventually became a 15-6 run, finished off when Ginyard put back a miss by Noel.
When the lead reached more than 20, North Carolina coach Roy Williams allowed his walk-ons and other bench players finish out the rout.
Hansbrough was a big reason, and the 6-foot-9 center continued his efforts to become the first freshman in school history to lead the team in scoring and rebounding. He scored at least 20 points for the 11th time this season and grabbed seven rebounds in 27 minutes against the Terrapins.
During that decisive run, he made the most of a nifty pass from Noel to score as he was fouled by Gist, one of two three-point chances Hansbrough had in the second half. He uncharacteristically failed to convert either, about all he did wrong in this one.For more coverage of the North Carolina Tar Heels, check out CarolinaBlue.com.
For more coverage of the Maryland Terrapins, check out TerrapinTimes.com.
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