MURFREESBORO -- Michael Sweat scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds but Middle Tennessee shot 75 percent from the field in the second half, breaking open a close game en route to an 88-48 exhibition victory over Cumberland Tuesday night at Murphy Center.
The Bulldogs went more than five minutes of the second half without a point, allowing the Blue Raiders (5-1) to run off 13 consecutive points and break open a game that CU trailed just 37-24 at the half.
Iowa State transfer LaRon Dendy netted 14 of his 21 points in the second half, leading four players in double figures for Middle Tennessee. JT Sulton added 14 points, Kerry Hammonds netted 11, including a trio of 3-pointers, and Jason Jason posted 10 points.
The Bulldogs had several chances in the second half that rimmed out and the Blue Raiders nearly could not miss, making 18-of-24 shots after the break. CU also committed 17 turnovers that led to 19 points for the home team.
The Bulldogs made just 4-of-17 from the field in the first 12 minutes of the game, falling behind 23-10, and trailed 34-18 at the four-minute media timeout but closed the gap before halftime.
Sweat made a bucket underneath and Charles Stewart hit two free throws just after the media break. Sweat added a putback and Kyle Upton hit an 18-footer, as CU outscored the Blue Raiders, 10-3, over the final five minutes of the period. The Bulldogs went to the locker room behind 37-24.
Cumberland hosts Hiwassee College on November 30 at 7 p.m. at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.