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Published: Thursday, 11/13/2008

Harris, Sims becoming key combo for UM

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

ANN ARBOR - Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims aren't on the floor together when Michigan's basketball games start.

That might change.

The two formed an unstoppable combination last night in the second half and led the Wolverines to a 76-56 triumph over Northeastern in the second round of the 2K Sports Classic.

With the win, UM (2-0) advanced to the tournament's semifinals Nov. 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Barring an upset, the Wolverines will play UCLA in the national tourney benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

Harris nearly missed a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Coming off his career-high 30-point effort in UM's season-opening win over Michigan Tech on Tuesday night, Harris scored 17 in the second half to help the Wolverines pull away from Northeastern after a 29-23 halftime advantage.

Sims came off the bench to score 19 points. He had 10 points and 12 boards as a reserve Tuesday night.

"If his numbers coming off the bench continue, then you get tough decisions," UM coach John Beilein said.

Sims, a junior post player, had 15 points in the second half. Six of his eight total field goals came off an assist from Harris.

With Harris slashing to the bucket, Huskies defenders often left Sims alone to help, and Harris found him time and again.

"He's a great finisher," said Harris, who was named the Ann Arbor regional's most valuable player. "I know if I put it right in his hands, most of the time he's going to score."

Harris said he didn't know he was two assists shy of his first triple-double.

"If I knew I probably would've tried even harder," he said.

Harris led UM's stellar effort from the free-throw line, hitting 13 of 14 foul shots. The Wolverines had made their first 24 free throws before Harris missed with 3:08 left and finished 25-of-26 from the charity stripe.

Northeastern was led by Manny Adako's 16 points and shot 29 percent as a team, including 4-of-24 (17 percent) from 3-point range.

RECRUITS: The Wolverines received four national letters of intent yesterday at the start of college basketball's early signing period, including one from 6-foot-4 guard Matt Vogrich of Lake Forest, Ill., who is renowned for his 3-point shooting.



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