The 77-57 win against N.C. Central helps Michigan close its non-conference season with a 10-2 record. The 10 wins match the total for victories from a season ago when the Wolverines closed 10-22.
Michigan remains undefeated at home with a perfect 8-0 record. The Maize and Blue has won its last five games.
Prior to the start of the game, Michigan learned it moved up one spot to 23rd in the Associated Press Top 25, and is ranked for the first time this season in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, earning the No. 24 spot.
After scoring six points in U-M's last game -- a 76-59 win over Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 22 -- Manny Harris exploded for his 14th career game of 20-plus points, closing with 29 today. Overall, it marked the 11th double-figure scoring game of the season for Harris and 39th of his career.
Manny Harris reset his career-best mark for rebounds with 16 boards against N.C. Central. Tonight, he closed with a career-best seven offensive rebounds and nine defensive. Harris topped the 15 boards he had earlier this season against Norfolk State (Nov. 25).
With a career-best 16 rebounds to accompany his 29 points, Manny Harris posted his fourth double-double of the season. He is now tied with DeShawn Sims for the team lead for double-doubles.
For the second time this season, Manny Harris came close to posting a triple-double as he tallied 29 points, a career-best 16 rebounds and seven assists today. On Nov. 12, Harris had 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists against Northeastern. The only triple-double in U-M history came from Gary Grant against North Carolina on March 14, 1987, when he posted 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
With his 13-for-16 performance from the free-throw line, Manny Harris earned his third game this season with double digits for free throws made and attempted. He was 13-of-14 against Northeastern on Nov. 12 and 14-of-14 against Savannah State on Nov. 29. He leads U-M from the charity stripe, shooting 87.4 percent.
With 17 points today, DeShawn Sims is currently riding a 12-game double-figure scoring streak. He just missed his fifth double-double of the season as he closed with nine rebounds. He also matched a career high with three steals.
Laval Lucas-Perry posted 10 points, giving him three straight games scoring in double figures since becoming eligible following his transfer from Arizona. He went 3-of-4 from long range to boost his season total to 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) from long range.
Manny Harris has started all 44 career games at Michigan. In addition, classmate Kelvin Grady came off the bench to play in his 44th straight contest for the Wolverines. Grady has 25 career starts.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On the contest... "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. 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. Back-to-back two not great games, for whatever reason, but at the same time our numbers keep coming up. It was a convincing win and we are scoring the ball without shooting the ball well."
On Laval Lucas-Perry's growth... "I wanted to get him a lot of minutes tonight, sort of at Stu's (Douglass) expense; get him a lot of minutes out there so that he gets used to what is a good play, what is a bad play. I obviously wasn't happy when we had just turned it over and we turned it over again with a lob. I'd rather have him shoot the ball in that situation. That is what he has to work through. It's one thing to be off for a year and coming out and shooting, then it's about doing all the other things, but I love what he brings to the team."
On the play of Manny Harris... "Sixteen rebounds, seven assists, one turnover, getting to the foul line all of those times. Just seeing how his game is becoming more diverse, I think that he is continuing to learn everyday and he wants to learn. He's asking questions. He has suggestions. His attitude right now is really solid."
U-M Sophomore Guard Manny Harris
On not wearing his shirt underneath his jersey... "I'm going to go back to the shirt. I was actually sick and I got tired too fast with the shirt and it made me tired. I like the shirt; I'm going to go back to the shirt."
On his aggressive play getting to the basket... "Yes, it was something that I wanted to do, but at the same time, I wasn't sure of the flow. I thought that in the first half we didn't play Michigan basketball and I wasn't sure how good the flow of the game was, but we got the lead."
On the team being prepared for Big Ten action... "I think that we're ready. 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."
On the focus in practice... "Focus has been really good. The biggest thing has been communication; everybody has been talking and having fun, not only in games, but in practice."
On having 10 wins at this point in the season after going through last season... "It seems kind of weird, but last year was a bit of a rebuilding year. 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."
On Michigan competing in the Big Ten... "Yes, we feel like we can compete. There are going to be good teams, but as I said, we are way better than we were last year and everyone's confident in us and the chemistry that we have is good."
On facing Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener... "Wisconsin is a good team and they're going to come in and play physical and with a chip on their shoulder like we have on ours, so it's going to be a good game. It's going to be good to play them first."
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