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February 22, 2006
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RALEIGH, N.C. ? David Noel had a career-high 25 points and added 11 rebounds, Reyshawn Terry scored 20 points and No. 21 North Carolina beat No. 15 NC State 95-71 Wednesday night to hand the Wolfpack their first home loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Tyler Hansbrough finished with 17 points for the Tar Heels (18-6, 9-4), who moved within a half-game of second-place N.C. State in the ACC behind No. 1 Duke (14-0). They completed their third consecutive season sweep of their Tobacco Road rival, all since Roy Williams took over as coach.
On the other side, Wolfpack coach Herb Sendek hasn't fared so well in this series, or the one with the Blue Devils. He fell to 8-38 against those two - 5-17 vs. North Carolina - but still has his team poised for its fifth straight trip to the NCAA tournament, which would tie the school record.
The latest defeat came on his 43rd birthday, and he was serenaded by the largest crowd of the season at the RBC Center during the first media timeout. And before the game, former N.C. State star Lorenzo Charles, whose dunk in the final second of the 1983 NCAA championship game secured the national title, offered a good luck message shown on the scoreboard before the tip.
None of it worked. The Tar Heels won every facet of this game, whether that meant rebounding (43-26), offense (their point total was the most given up this season by the Wolfpack) or defense (they allowed only 44 percent from the field).
It all added up to North Carolina's seventh victory in the past eight games, with the only loss to Duke. With two of the final three regular season games at home, the climb in the standings very well could continue.
Noel was the biggest reason in this one. The senior nearly had a double-double at halftime and passed his previous best of 21 points early in the second half, while Terry and Hansbrough were solid throughout as well.
The Tar Heels took control with a 13-3 run late in the first half, capped by Terry's 3-pointer, then held off a brief rally midway through the final 20 minutes. N.C. State closed to 60-51 on five straight points from Simmons, including a three-point play over Byron Sanders.
But Tony Bethel missed a chance to cut the margin further when he bricked a 3, and as he did from the start, Noel had the answer. He swished a jumper from beyond the arc to increase the lead back to 12, and it still was 10 before two North Carolina freshmen took over.
After hitting 61 3-pointers over the past five games, they finished 6-for-25 Wednesday night and missed all 10 in the second half.For more coverage of the North Carolina Tar Heels, check out CarolinaBlue.com.
For more coverage of the NC State Wolfpack, check out TheWolfpacker.com.
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