Thursday in College Basketbll: Tyler Hansbrough Breaks All-Time UNC Scoring Mark

Brett LissendenSenior Analyst IDecember 18, 2008

Tyler Hansbrough

In front of his home fans and a national television audience, Tyler Hansbrough became the all-time leading scorer for North Carolina basketball on Thursday in his team's win over Evansville. 

Hansbrough needed just nine points in the game to eclipse Phil Ford for the top spot.  He notched 20 for the game, surpassing Ford's mark in the first half.  Hansbrough now has 2,301 career points as a Tar Heel.

Hansbrough epitomizes all that is right with college basketball.  He gives his best every night, plays the game right, and has stayed in school for all four years of eligibility.  Amid much speculation about how he will fare in the NBA, Hansbrough has remained focused on the present and is one of the biggest parts of the top team in the country, on what many believe is the best team in many seasons in men's college basketball.

UNC is now 10-0 on the season, with their closest margin of victory being by 15 points.

SEC/Big East Invitational

Joining events such as the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and the Big 12/Pac 10 Hard-court Series, the SEC and Big East showcased four cross-conference games for the second season in a row. 

While the SEC stole the show on Tuesday with victories from Vanderbilt and Tennessee, the Big East responded on Thursday with wins from Cincinnati and Louisville.

Cincinnati jumped out to a big 18-point halftime lead over Mississippi State, and fended off a comeback to win by a score of 75-63.

The other game was very similar, as Louisville jumped out to a big lead on Mississippi.  Mississippi came all the way back to tie the game in the second half before Louisville ultimately won by a score of 77-68.  Mississippi was playing amid some controversy, as head coach Andy Kennedy denied charges of physical assault and racial remarks towards a cab driver.

Top Performers

Several other players had big nights on Thursday in addition to the record-setting night from Hansbrough.

Louisville's Earl Clark finished his team's victory with 25 points and 16 rebounds, both career highs.  Clark actually had 17 points in just over the first 8 minutes of the game, accounting for the first 17 of his team's 24 points.  Clark's hot start helped Louisville to jump out on Ole Miss by a score of 32-14 midway through the first half.

Cincinnati was led in their victory by Deonta Vaughn.  Vaughn finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, but recorded 14 of his points in a four-minute stretch that resulted in a 20-2 run to close the half for the Bearcats against Mississippi State.

Despite Evanville's loss to UNC, one of their players was able to top Hansbrough in the scoring column.  Shy Ely put up 23 points against the Tar Heels.  Ely is a senior hoping to help lead the Purple Aces to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference this season.

Western Kentucky, the same team that has given Louisville it's only loss of the season, earned a huge victory in their first conference of the season by winning a road game against South Alabama.  Western Kentucky and South Alabama have dominated the Sun Belt Conference in recent years, and both made the NCAA tournament last season.  The Hilltoppers were led by two separate 20-points efforts from guards A.J. Slaughter and Orlando Mendez-Valdez.


Three teams went into games on Thursday night trying to earn the first victory of the season. 

A congratulations is in order for North Florida, who got their first win of the season by defeating Furman by a score of 77-66.

The other two teams were not as fortunate.  North Carolina Central dropped to 0-13 after their loss to Winstom-Salem by a score of 66-51, and Texas Southern moved to 0-10 after absorbing a blowout loss to No. 9-ranked Gonzaga.