Tyler Hansbrough had 32 points - including 16 during the decisive 11-minute run - to help No. 3 North Carolina beat rival North Carolina State 84-70 on Wednesday night.
Wayne Ellington added 21 points for the Tar Heels (25-2, 10-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led by 20 points to easily avenge last year's stunning loss here despite playing yet again without injured point guard Ty Lawson.
Hansbrough finished 11-for-19 from the field and pulled down 12 rebounds, marking his sixth straight game with at least 22 points while giving him his fourth double-double during that stretch. Ellington also came through, scoring 12 points after the break and finishing with three 3-pointers for the game - including one just before halftime that gave North Carolina a 34-31 lead at the break.
That was part of a 31-7 run that reached into the second half, turning a 31-25 deficit late in the first half into a 56-38 lead on Hansbrough's steal-and-dunk with about 14 minutes to play. The Wolfpack (15-11, 4-8) never challenged after that.
Gavin Grant scored 17 points to lead N.C. State, which couldn't repeat last year's 83-79 win at the RBC Center that had the home fans storming the court to celebrate.
Lawson missed his fifth straight game since spraining his left ankle in an overtime win at Florida State earlier this month, but replacement Quentin Thomas came through with 10 points and seven assists. Marcus Ginyard added 13 points for the Tar Heels, who shot 53 percent for the game.
North Carolina has won four straight games, keeping the Tar Heels just behind league-leading Duke in the ACC standings.