February 03, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Ty Lawson winced Sunday afternoon as he rolled a sock over his left foot. The look on his face answered the question almost before Lawson opened his mouth.

"I'm not sure," the North Carolina point guard said when asked whether the ankle sprain he suffered four minutes into the fourth-ranked Tar Heels' 84-73 win at Florida State would keep him out of Wednesday's game against No. 2 Duke.

Lawson said he would undergo tests when the team returned to Chapel Hill, N.C., to determine the severity of the injury. Asked where he felt the most pain, Lawson pointed to an area just above his ankle. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Lawson injured the ankle as he fell following a tussle for a loose ball with 6-9, 230-pound FSU forward Ryan Reid.

"I think somebody fell on me," Lawson said. "Other than that, I don't remember what happened."

If Lawson is out for any length of time, the Tar Heels (21-1, 6-1 ACC) may have to make adjustments. Their backup point guard, Bobby Frasor, is out for the season after tearing an ACL on Dec. 27. Lawson averaged 19.5 points and 10 assists in North Carolina's previous two games. Senior Quentin Thomas played the point for the bulk of the time after Lawson's injury.

"They're a different team without Lawson," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Lawson is the quarterback of this team. ... If he's not the best guard in America at penetrating, then he's the perfect guard for them."

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said he had no preliminary information on the severity of Lawson's injury. "It could be the wimpiest ankle sprain in history," Williams said, "or it could be the worst."

Williams praised his team for gutting out a win without Lawson. Forward Tyler Hansbrough scored 22 and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds, and swingman Danny Green scored 16 of his 19 points after halftime. FSU's Reid, a sophomore, forced overtime when he made his first collegiate three-point attempt with seven seconds remaining in regulation, but the Tar Heels made 11 of 13 free throws in overtime to seal the win.

"To have a great year, you've got to win some games ugly," Williams said. "You've got to win some games on toughness. Florida State pushed us as far as we could be pushed today."

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