Short-handed Tar Heels trounce Wildcats

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TUCSON, Ariz. - Freshman Ty Lawson scored a career-high 18 points and No. 4 North Carolina routed 17th-ranked Arizona 92-64 Saturday, handing Lute Olson his worst home loss in 24 seasons as coach of the Wildcats.

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North Carolina's Ty Lawson shoots as Arizona's Mustafa Shakur attempts to defend during the second half of the Tar Heels' win.  Associated Press
Associated Press
North Carolina's Ty Lawson shoots as Arizona's Mustafa Shakur attempts to defend during the second half of the Tar Heels' win.

Five other Tar Heels scored in double figures as North Carolina (19-2) won its fourth consecutive game.

The Tar Heels played without No. 2 scorer and rebounder Brandan Wright and reserve swingman Marcus Ginyard, who had stomach illnesses. They missed neither.

North Carolina, which whipped the Wildcats 86-69 in Chapel Hill last season, ended Arizona's 29-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents, the fourth-longest in the nation.

"I think it is a big statement about how deep our team is, that we have guys on the bench who can start and we can still win a game like this," said forward Deon Thompson, who replaced Wright and scored 14 points.

Chase Budinger scored 16 points, all in the second half, for Arizona (14-6), which lost for the fifth time in seven games.

It was the season's lowest scoring total for Arizona, which averages 83.4 points per game, best in the Pac-10. But the Tar Heels held the Wildcats to one basket in the final 9:10 of the first half and without a field goal for nearly seven minutes in the second half.

Arizona went 1-for-23 beyond the 3-point arc.

Previously, Olson's worst home defeat was a 12-point loss to Tennessee on Dec. 23, 1983, his second month on the job.

"North Carolina is very, very, very good, and will get even better with the number of young players that they have," Olson said.

Wright and Ginyard became ill at the team's hotel late Friday night, team spokesman Steve Kirschner said. Wright, a 6-foot-9 freshman, averages 15.2 points per game and 6.4 rebounds. Ginyard, a 6-4 sophomore, averages 4.1 points and 3. 1 rebounds off the bench.

Arizona lost leading scorer Marcus Williams midway through the first half when he landed on a defender's foot and rolled into the Carolina bench, where coach Roy Williams crouched over him, signaling for a trainer. Williams returned for about five minutes in the second half.

In a one-game break from Pac-10 play, the Wildcats looked out of their league, turning the ball over four times on their first five possessions as the Tar Heels raced to a 15-6 lead.

But the Wildcats found their composure and went on an 8-2 run sparked by little-used freshman forward Jordan Hill, who dunked three times in a row. But Hill went to the bench with his third foul late in the first half and wasn't much of a factor the rest of the game.

Arizona pulled to 25-21 before the Tar Heels put together a 14-2 run on their way to a 43-25 halftime lead - and leading scorer Tyler Hansbrough did not score a basket in the first half.

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