CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Freshman Tyler Hansbrough scored a season-high 23 points and No. 25 North Carolina turned in a solid defensive performance to beat Davidson 82-58 on Tuesday night.
Reyshawn Terry added 16 points for the Tar Heels (8-2), who closed their non-conference schedule with a third straight win in the series. North Carolina opens Atlantic Coast Conference play at home Saturday against No. 13 North Carolina State.
Brendan Winters scored 18 points for the Wildcats (7-5), who came in averaging 85 points per game but managed just 12 through the first 18 minutes and had to fight for just about every basket. The Wildcats shot 32 percent and committed 20 turnovers, while the Tar Heels took a 54-31 edge on the boards.
Davidson earned one of its biggest wins in program history by beating the Tar Heels 58-54 in the Smith Center early in the 2001-02 season. The Tar Heels had won the two meetings since by an average margin of 19 points, and used their defense to extend that streak with relatively little trouble.
Terry finished with four of the team's nine blocks, while freshman Marcus Ginyard had four of North Carolina's 13 steals.
The Tar Heels held the Wildcats to eight first-half field goals, scoring 17 straight points to take a 22-point lead late in the period. North Carolina held Davidson without a point for 12 straight possessions and nearly 7 minutes during that span.
Davidson got no closer than 14 points early in the second half and trailed by as many as 29 points, but that didn't mean coach Roy Williams was entirely happy with his young team. Williams remained as intense as ever, constantly yelling for his players to get in the right defensive position or repeatedly turning to instruct players on the bench when something went wrong on the court.
At one point, he grew so irked after his team allowed a three-point play to make it 62-39 with 8:58 left that he ripped off his sports coat and flung it on the bench.
Barely a minute later, he called a timeout to admonish his team after it didn't get back down court following a basket by Hansbrough and allowed Winters to get an uncontested layup.
Leading 17-12, the Tar Heels locked down on the Wildcats and forced them into nine straight misses and four turnovers during that first-half drought. The Wildcats - as with much of the game - often found themselves staring at dwindling shot clocks with the Tar Heels chasing them out beyond the 3-point arc.
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