for this game

Harris stars as Michigan tops NC Central

Dec 30, 2008 - 4:16 AM ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- It is still December in John Beilein's second season at Michigan and this campaign is already as successful as the first.

Manny Harris had 29 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists as the 24th-ranked Wolverines cruised to a 77-57 victory over North Carolina Central on Monday.

DeShawn Sims added 17 points and 10 rebounds while Laval Lucas-Perry scored 10 points off the bench as Michigan (10-2) matched its win total from last season.

Back in the polls for the first time since February 6, 2006, the once-proud program is in the midst of a quick turnaround under Beilein.

Sims and Harris scored five points apiece as Michigan raced out to a 10-1 lead. The Wolverines held the Eagles scoreless for over five minutes during an 11-0 run later in the half as they took an 11-point lead into the break.

"Sixteen rebounds, seven assists, one turnover (and) getting to the foul line all of those times (13-of-16). Just seeing how his (Harris') game is becoming more diverse, I think that he is continuing to learn everyday and he wants to learn," Beilein said. "He's asking questions. He has suggestions. His attitude right now is really solid."

Michigan converted 20-of-30 from the free-throw line while North Carolina Central attempted just five and knocked down four.

"Not to say that facing Wisconsin is a task you look forward to, but you do look forward that portion of the schedule being done," Beilein said of Michigan's Big Ten opener against the Badgers on December 31. "Getting to a portion of the schedule that is extremely tough but at the same time hopefully will bring out the best in us or show us where we are so that we can find out who we really are."

"I think that we're ready," Harris said. "There is a lot that we have to work on, but we're 10-2 for right now and that's better than what we were last year, so I think we're ready for the Big Ten."

The Wolverines went just 10-22 in Beilein's first season but already have recorded wins over Duke and UCLA this campaign.

"It seems kind of weird, but last year was a bit of a rebuilding year," Harris said. "We wanted to come in and get 20 wins last season, but we knew that we were going to have to work at it. We kind of expected last year to go the way that it did, and this year, we knew that it was going to be expected for us to win."

Reserve Nick Chasten led the Eagles (0-15) with 15 points but leading scorer Jamar Briscoe was held to 5-of-14 shooting and 11 points.