Considered among the best players in his class this season, Tyler Hansbrough was not welcomed with open arms to the sunshine state Friday, as his first shot attempt was swatted into the seats by Brian Zoubek. It not only signaled the beginning of a very long day for UK's top target, but also the rise of Zoubek, who impressively handled Hansbrough with the help of his teammates defensively.
Scoring only four points in the first half and seeing many of his shots either being altered or contested by a New Jersey team full of defensive forces inside, Hansbrough and his St. Louis Eagles squad needed help from talented swingman Landon Shipley in order to grinde out a 85-73 victory.
Shipley would finish with 26 points and impressively handled the offensive output for Hansbrough and his team in the win. He will need to duplicate the scoring barrage if his Hansbrough and his team want to continue on as tournament play starts tomorrow.
Hansbrough ended the match-up with 17 points, including one very impressive three point shot. He was by far the best post player in a game that included three very talented young stars in Andrew Bynum and Zoubek, but did not display the tremendous ability to take over, as he usually does.