49ers’ Harris catches fire, beating Youngstown 100-80

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 22, 2008

Associated Press
CHARLOTTE ó Charlotte guard DiJuan Harris has taken some ribbing from his teammates this season over his lack of scoring.
They won’t be making any cracks after Harris scored a career-high 20 points in the 49ers’ 100-80 win over Youngstown State.
RaShan Coleman added 16 points for Charlotte (4-6), and Charlie Coley III had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Phil Jones added 13 points. Ian Andersen and Lamont Mack scored 11 each.
The 49ers led by as many as 28 points en route to their third consecutive win. They broke the 100-point mark for the first time since a triple-overtime loss to Alabama in 2004.
“We had a lot of positive things happen going into the (holiday) break,” Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. “We feel like we have a lot of different guys who can score in double figures, and that’s a balance I’d like for us to continue to have.”
Harris, who was averaging 7.8 points and 5.2 assists this season coming into the game, was nearly perfect Sunday. He was 5-for-5 from the field and 8-for-10 on free throws. He finished with eight assists.
“My teammates get on me about passing up shots all the time,” Harris said. “I wanted to be more aggressive than normal, and they were giving me a lot of opportunities to shoot the ball. I just had to have the confidence in myself to make the shot.
“I’m not too big on stats and all that ó the only one I particularly look at is turnovers, and I’m not too concerned about points.”
The 49ers shot 68 percent in the first half, including 6 of 11 on 3-pointers, to take control.
Youngstown State cut Charlotte’s lead to 81-64 with 8:42 left, but Andersen hit a 3-pointer less than a minute later to push the 49ers’ lead back to 20 points.