CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina didn't put on much of a crowd-pleasing show to celebrate its return to No. 1.
Tyler Hansbrough had 20 points and Ty Lawson added 10 in his first home game in a month to help the Tar Heels beat Florida State 90-77 on Tuesday night, keeping them in position to play for the ACC regular-season title on Saturday at No. 6 Duke.
Marcus Ginyard added 13 points for North Carolina (28-2, 13-2), which led by 12 at halftime and maintained a comfortable margin for its seventh straight victory. The Tar Heels have won eight straight meetings and 19 of 22 in the series.
"Carolina scrambled the game with their run and jump, and their trapping of our ball screens," Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We never regained our composure, and that's a credit to them."
That's not to say it was easy for North Carolina, which had trouble getting open looks for Hansbrough inside — his first second-half basket came at the 7:40 mark — while second-leading scorer Wayne Ellington had six on 2-for-9 shooting.
Jason Rich had 27 points for the Seminoles (17-13, 6-9), who trailed by six midway through the second half.
Florida State was trying to win four straight ACC games for the first time since the Sam Cassell-led Seminoles did it 15 years ago.
Lawson's health was a key concern. In the first matchup last month, Lawson sprained his left ankle in the early minutes of an 84-73 overtime win and missed the next six games. He returned Saturday against Boston College.
On Tuesday, playing his first home game since Jan. 31, Lawson grimaced as he went to the bench with a hip pointer with 1:53 left in the first half.
He left for the locker room sporting an ice bag and returned to the bench four minutes into the second half. He appeared to grow more comfortable as the game wore on, particularly in one stretch after the Seminoles had closed within 59-53 with 11:20 left.
The sophomore point guard made an open jumper from the left side followed by a pull-up jumper in transition to spark an 8-0 run, giving the Tar Heels a double-figure lead they would not relinquish.
"There was no question I was going to try to play through it, no matter what," Lawson said of the hip pointer. "You get tired of sitting out."