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February 3, 2008

Carolina survives Lawson injury

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Tyler Hansbrough had 22 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to lift the fourth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels to an 84-73 overtime victory over the Florida State Seminoles.

North Carolina (21-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) shook off an unlikely 3-pointer by Florida State's Ryan Reid with 8.1 seconds left that sent the game into overtime.

"We expected a fight, but we didn't expect it to be that close," said North Carolina's Danny Green, whose three-point play with 2:53 left in the overtime ignited the 10-2 run that doomed the Seminoles (13-10, 2-6).

The shot that tied the game was the first 3-point attempt of Reid's career and the 6-foot-9 sophomore drained it from deep in the corner with aplomb.

"I saw that I really couldn't pass the ball to anyone so I shot the three," said Reid, who admitted he willed the ball into the basket.

"In my head: 'Just get in there,'" Reid said. "It got in!"

And When North Carolina couldn't even get a shot off in the final seconds of regulation, the Tar Heels were staring at overtime before a raucous crowd already roaring about Reid's unexpected heroics.

"You can't do anything about that," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "When things aren't pretty, you can still find a way to win."

By then, Florida State's big men were all in foul trouble from trying to contain the 6-9 Hansbrough inside.

"In the second half he just kept fighting his way through," Florida State's Uche Echefu said. "He just keeps going, no matter what."

Echefu, Reid and freshman Julian Vaughn - who took turns guarding Hansbrough - all fouled out in the overtime.

Held to just three free throws in the first half and no field goals for more than 30 minutes, Hansbrough had eight points and five rebounds in the overtime.

"He's such a relentless player that he finds a way," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.

North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson, who is averaging 14.1 points and 6.0 assists, sprained his left ankle four minutes into the game after colliding with the 240-pound Reid underneath the North Carolina basket.

"Some guys had to step up and play well," Hansbrough said. "We knew it was going to be tough without Ty."

Green scored 19 points and Deon Thompson had 11 for North Carolina, which overcame 21 turnovers, the loss of Lawson and a mediocre 42.6 percent shooting effort.

Hansbrough, the ACC's leading scorer and rebounder, was held without a field goal until 9:43 remained in the game. He was just 5-of-14 from the field, but was 10-of-12 at the free throw line. The Tar Heels made 27 of 33 free throws.

Florida State trailed 31-29 at halftime after shooting a chilly 34.4 percent in the opening 20 minutes.

Jason Rich led the Seminoles with 22 points, while Isaiah Swann and [/db]Toney Douglas[/db] added 12 each, although Douglas was just 3-of-20 from the field.

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