LEBANON, Tenn. – Mid-Continent shot 70 percent from the field in the second half, overcoming a 15-point halftime deficit and defeating Cumberland, 61-51, on Senior Day in men’s basketball action Saturday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
The Cougars (10-19, 9-7 TranSouth) were the tale of two halves, making just 5-of-25 shots (20 percent) in the opening period before scorching the nets and ending the game on a 15-4 run to beat the Bulldogs (21-8, 11-5) for the second time this season. Cumberland’s eight-game winning streak was snapped in the loss and sent CU into a four-way tie for second place in the TranSouth once games with Trevecca Nazarene are removed.
The Bulldogs were just 4-of-15 (27 percent) from the field with six turnovers at one point of the second half, with free throws the only thing keeping the home team in the contest. CU made 9-of-11 at the charity stripe, but could not fend off MCU, who seemed to make everything after the break.
Mid-Continent might have pulled away even more if not for poor free throw shooting on their part, hitting only 7-of-18 in the second half and missing the front end of three 1-and-1 chances. But they rebounded two of those misses, part of 12 offensive rebounds they converted into 13 second-chance points.
Mid-Continent outscored the Bulldogs, 39-17, over the final 14 minutes of the game, making 16 of their final 18 shots from the field. Antonio Davis was the only Cougar in double figures with 19 points, while Chris Tillman, Steve McBurrough and Reggie Elkins each added nine.
Michael Sweat led the Bulldogs with 16 points and eight rebounds, but the senior was just 3-for-12 from the field and 0-of-7 from 3-point range. As a team the Bulldogs made only 3-for-20 from behind the arc, reverting to the form when the club lost four straight conference games in January.
No other Cumberland player scored more than six points, as CU shot just 34 percent from the field for the game.
The first half was just the opposite, as MCU took an 8-3 advantage three minutes into the game and did not score another field goal for more than 13 minutes and just one point during that stretch. Cumberland outscored the Cougars, 25-5, over the final 17 minutes of the period. Mid-Continent went 0-for-12 from the floor with eight turnovers during the dry spell.
The Bulldogs led 28-13 at the break but still was just 3-of-12 from 3-point range and shot only 36 percent from the field.