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Story Archives: North Carolina tops LSU 84-70 in NCAA tournament
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|North Carolina tops LSU 84-70 in NCAA tournament|
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Eighth-seeded LSU tied the game at 63-63 with eight minutes to play, but top-seeded North Carolina was too much down the stretch. The Tar Heels answered with an 11-0 run and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, 84-70, on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C.
In SEC Coach of the Year Trent Johnson's first year in Baton Rouge, the Tigers' SEC Championship ended with a 27-8 overall record.
North Carolina (30-4) improved to 30-1 at Greensboro Coliseum and will face either No. 4-seed Gonzaga or No. 12 Western Kentucky.
LSU senior guard Marcus Thornton, the SEC Player of the Year, led all scorers with 25 points on 10-of-22 shooting. He made 5-of-11 from three-point range. Junior forward Tasmin Mitchell helped LSU overcome a nine-point halftime deficit by adding 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
Center Chris Johnson and sophomore guard Bo Spencer each had eight, as LSU finished 29-of-64 shooting including 9-of-22 from three point range.
North Carolina guard Wayne Ellington single-handedly kept the Tar Heels in the game midway through the second half with a 10-point spurt when his team was down by five. He finished with 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
Guard Ty Lawson also scored 23 points, 21 of which came in the second half. Forward Tyler Hansbrough had 15 points and eight rebounds.
North Carolina shot 54.2 percent (32 of 59) and made eight more free throws (14) than the Tigers shot (6).
The Tigers stayed within a possession of North Carolina for the first eight minutes, but went more than four minutes without a field goal. The Tar Heels opened a 19-14 lead with 9:33 remaining in the half.
LSU used an 8-2 to lead 22-21 with 6:12 to play in the first half. But, North Carolina answered with eight straight points to take control in the final minutes of the half. The run expanded to 17-7 to give the Tar Heels a 38-29 lead at the break.
In the opening half, the Tar Heels shot better than 50 percent in the first 20 minutes (16 of 31), while LSU struggled from the three-point range (2 of 9) and were 12 of 30 from the field (40 percent).
With the season -- and the college careers of five Tigers -- hanging in the balance, LSU wasted no time erasing the second-ranked Tar Heels' advantage, re-taking the lead on an alley-oop dunk by Johnson from Temple with 16:40 to play.
Point guard Bo Spencer hit two three pointers to key LSU baskets on nine-straight possessions for a 49-46 lead. Thornton made a layup and Temple hit an open three pointer to extend the lead to 54-49 with 12:21 to play.
Ellington scored 10 points to spearhead a 12-3 run that gave North Carolina a 61-57 lead.
Not to be out-done, Thornton responded with two three pointers of his own to tie the game at 63-63 with 8:08 to play.
Again, as they did in the first half, North Carolina used a big run to break open the game. As LSU went 0-for-4 with two turnovers, the Tar Heels scored two baskets off turnovers and a third-chance three pointer to gain control of the game with an 11-0 run.
The Tigers broke a four-minute drought coming out of the final media timeout, but it wasn't enough to stop the Tar Heels.
(Report courtesy of lsusports.net)