Saint Louis University traveled to Chapel Hill, North Carolina looking for an upset, and for a while it looked like one might be in the making. In the end, the Billikens couldn’t keep up with North Carolina in a 75-63 loss.
SLU took a 34-31 lead going into half thanks to accurate shooting from beyond the arc. The Billikens hit five-of-ten three pointers to help move out to a three-point lead after the first 20 minutes. They led by as many as five points in the first half.
The defending national champions opened the second half with a 13-0 run to start the second half, but SLU battled back and trailed 56-55 with 6:44 to play in the game. That’s when the Tar Heels went on a 13-3 run to put it away.
Perhaps their biggest accomplishment in the first half was holding former Poplar Bluff High School star, Tyler Hansbrough to just four points. Hansbrough, however, wasn’t going to be denied in the second half. He erupted for 17 points over the final 20 minutes to finish with 21. Hansbrough hit 9-of-12 field goals and grabbed six rebounds. The Tar Heels hit 56.7 percent of their shots in the second half, while the Billikens made good on 38.7 percent in the second half.
Hansbrough, who chose North Carolina over Missouri, led Poplar Bluff to the Class 5 Missouri state championship earlier this year and was named Mr. Show-Me Basketball.
Anthony Drejaj led SLU (3-3) in scoring with 16 points, while Tommie Liddell and Kevin Lisch added 13 apiece. Ian Vouyoukas grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds.