Sweat's 24 paces Bulldogs
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sweat's 24 paces Bulldogs
Michael Sweat posted 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting in CU's 75-57 victory Monday against Oakwood. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Michael Sweat scored 24 points, Lamar Brinkley added 19 and Cumberland used an 11-0 run to start the second half to pull away and defeat Oakwood University, 75-57, in men’s basketball action Monday night at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.

The Bulldogs (13-6) ended a three-game losing streak with the victory and shot an astounding 67 percent (14-of-21) from the field in the second half, extending a three-point edge at the break to as many as 18 late in the game. The 11-0 run opened a 14-point cushion and the Ambassadors (8-9) six the rest of the way.

Sweat scored four points and Johnny Williams, who finished with nine points, five rebounds and four assists, added an old-fashioned 3-point play during the spurt after the break. CU maintained at least and eight-point edge until an 8-0 run by Oakwood that featured buckets from Estilus Lahens, Tommy Wright and Ryan Moore and two free throws from Ronnie Clark cut the Bulldog lead to 59-53 with 4:36 to play.

But CU answered with an easy basket from Sweat plus the free throw and the senior added a 3-pointer from the top of the key a minute later to push the advantage back to 12. It was the second highest point total of the year for Sweat, who shot 10-for-12 from the field in the contest.

Brinkley netted eight of his 19 points over the final two-plus minutes, including a perfect 4-for-4 at the foul line. The junior finished with 10 rebounds as well for his third double-double of the season. Kyle Upton also posted nine points off the bench for Cumberland.

Lenard Bryant led the Ambassadors with 15 points and eight rebounds and Tommy Wright netted 12 as well.

The Bulldogs struggled early with the Oakwood press and trailed 8-2 and 11-6 before reeling off a 9-4 run led by four points from Upton. The 15-13 edge was CU’s only lead of the half until the 4:35 mark when Sweat’s dunk put Cumberland ahead, 24-22.

CU stretched the advantage to 33-25 with a 16-5 spurt highlighted by nine points from Sweat and a pair of old-fashioned 3-point plays, one each by Upton and Brinkley. But a slight lapse defensively allowed the Ambassadors to run off eight consecutive points and tie the game for the fourth time in the period, the last two points coming from Moore.

Ayodeji made the first free throw with 4.3 seconds, missed the second rebound and found Sweat for a dunk just before the half ended for a 36-33 CU lead. Oakwood outrebounded CU, 19-11, leading to 15 second-chance points.

Cumberland returns to TranSouth Conference action Saturday at 4 p.m. at Mid-Continent University.