Bulldogs blow out Blue Mountain
Monday, February 21, 2011
Bulldogs blow out Blue Mountain
Haris Batalevic posted a career-high 18 points against Blue Mountain Monday.

LEBANON, Tenn. – Haris Batalevic set a career-high with 18 points, while Michael Sweat and Josh Pierce posted 13 and 11 points, respectively, to lead Cumberland University to an easy win over Blue Mountain College, 91-56, Monday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.


The 35-point victory was the largest of the season for the Bulldogs (16-11, 10-5 TranSouth Conference) and snapped a two-game home losing skid. Cumberland will close out the regular season at Mid-Continent University Saturday before returning home for the quarterfinal round of the TranSouth Championships on March 3 at 7 p.m. CU will take on either Bethel University or rival Trevecca Nazarene University.


The Bulldogs completed the season sweep of the Toppers and improved to 8-0 all-time against Blue Mountain (8-19, 2-12). The margin of victory was the largest in the last four games, including a January 13 meeting that was decided by 10 points.


Cumberland shot 70 percent in the second half, including 5-of-9 from behind the arc. Batalevic recorded three of his four treys after the break, including two in a span of 23 seconds.


With the game already decided, the Doboj, Bosnia, native knocked down a trifecta from the left wing and after a missed 3-point attempt on the other end Trey Caruthers snared the rebound and gave it up to Batalevic, who sent another 3-pointer through the net.


Cumberland started off shaky, making only two of its first nine shots and leading the Toppers by one point with nearly seven minutes gone in the first half. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run that was fueled by a trio of steals. After the slow start, CU made 14 of its final 22 shots in the half.


After Batalevic, who was named the Music City Star of the Game, knocked down a trey, Kyle Upton swiped the ball from Tyler Shaver and dished to Walter Simon, put up an easy layup. The Dresden, Germany, native finished with only four points in the opening half after being forced to the bench after eight minutes because of foul trouble.


On the Toppers’ next possession Lindal Yarbrough came up with the steal and gave it up to Lamar Brinkley before Upton closed the run with a steal and layup to put CU back on top by 10.


BMC closed to within seven with a 7-0 run later, but Cumberland finished strong, extending the lead back out to 17 over the last 6:29 of the first half. The Bulldogs never trailed by fewer than 15 in the second half.