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Heels 102, Fighting Irish 87
Lawson speeds past ND; Hansbrough pours in 34

No. 1 North Carolina moved to 6-0 and cruised past Notre Dame 102-87 to win the Maui Invitational championship. (11/26)

The Tar Heels broke open a close game midway through the first half and survived a late onslaught of three pointers by Notre Dame's Kyle McAlarney, who scored seven of his 10 threes in the last eight minutes.

"We were sensational in the first half," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "Even when McAlarney was making all those threes, we were still answering at the other end."

While McAlarney was making most of his 39 points late in the game, Tyler Hansbrough was consistent for Carolina throughout, scoring 19 points in the second half and 15 points in the first half, including a three pointer from the top of the key which gave the Heels a 46-33 advantage.

Up 46-36 at the half, the Heels worked the lead up to 16 in the first three minutes of the second half as Danny Green hit a running jumper to put Carolina up 56-40.

Ty Lawson, who scored 22 - mostly on fast break drives to the basket, rattled in a three midway through the second half to put UNC up 72-51. Seconds later Hansbrough dunked on a fast break to give the Tar Heels their biggest lead of the game at 74-51 with 9:45 to go.

That's when McAlarney singled handedly reduced the margin to 11 at 84-73 with less than four minutes to play with his barrage of threes. A nice feed from Deon Thompson to Danny Green, who dunked it, stopped the bleeding and the Tar Heels worked the margin back up to 19 before settling for a 15-point victory.

Thompson, who scored 19 points himself, also had a career-high 13 rebounds.

As a team, the Heels turned the ball over only eight times, which is extremely low for a team that pushes the tempo as much as they do. Lawson, who runs the show offensively for the Heels, was the key as he dished out 11 assists while turning the ball over only once. During the three-game tourney, Lawson had 22 assists and just two turnovers.

MVP voters took note of that and gave Lawson the most valuable player award. Hansbrough, who played in just two of the games, and Green, who looked like the MVP during the first two games, also made the all tournament team.

Carolina returns home over the weekend to play UNC-Asheville.

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