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February 7, 2009CHAPEL HILL - With a seriously depleted rotation, North Carolina was going to need some more help from slumping guard Bobby Frasor.
While the senior guard didn't get his shooting stroke back, his hustle helped keep the third-ranked Tar Heels treading water long enough for their other shooters to get hot.
Eventually, the shots started falling and Carolina won handily, 76-61, against Virginia.
"I told the guys, when things are not working, give us something that can help us," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "He always does those little things."
Four Tar Heels scored in double figures, led by Wayne Ellington's 20 points.
The junior was 5-for-7 shooting in the second half after a first half in which he, as well as the rest of the Tar Heels, had a big problem finding the bottom of the net.
That turned around with a 7-for-12 team performance from 3-point range in the second half that helped Carolina (21-2, 7-2 in the ACC) push its lead as high as 24 points.
"We know how easy it is to lose any given day in the ACC," Ellington said. "We wanted to come out in the second half and shut all that down."
Despite the ugly first half for both teams, Carolina's numbers sure bounced back after the break.
Tyler Hansbrough finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Danny Green, who wasn't a sure thing to play because of illness, managed 17 points in 28 minutes on the floor. He started slow but was able to "sweat it out a little bit once I got going."
And point guard Ty Lawson had his second-straight turnover-free game, racking up nine assists along the way.
Since the offense itself wasn't the problem necessarily in the first half - just the end result of each possession - it was only a matter of time before Lawson's passes started ending up in the box score.
"He's doing a great job leading us, being our quarterback," Ellington said.
At halftime, UNC held a ceremony to raise a banner honoring the Tar Heels in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Five of the six living Tar Heels in the hall of fame - including Williams and his mentor Dean Smith - were on hand for the halftime presentation.
But up to that point, no one in the building had seen anything remotely resembling a hall-of-fame performance from either squad.
Both the Tar Heels and Cavaliers (7-12, 1-7) opened the game by hitting just 5 of 18 shots.
Virginia played zone and dared the Tar Heels - who were fresh off a red-hot shooting performance against Maryland - to win with outside shooting.
But even the inside stuff wasn't going down for Carolina, which shot 31.4 percent in the period.
"The first half was like pulling teeth," Williams said. "We couldn't get a shot to go in."
Neither could Virginia, whose leading scorer Sylven Landesberg ended up 6-for-16 shooting in the game while being defended by Ellington, Frasor and Green.
Frasor did more than defend, though, even if his numbers weren't all that impressive.
He grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds and dished out three assists for the Tar Heels to have an impact on the offense without scoring.
"That's what we expect from Bob," Hansbrough said. "We expect him to do some of the dirty work and provide hustle plays."
In the first half, Frasor had a pair of missed shots in succession, after which the UNC bench players stood to cheer him on, which also got the crowd on its feet in support of the slumping Frasor.
And even though he only got one shot to go in all game, Frasor definitely had an impact that sparked that show of appreciation.
"I don't know how to react to that," Frasor said. "It's nice that they do that. I'll have to make (a shot) for them I guess."