HOUSTON, Tex. (Nov. 21, 2003) -- Sophomore guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) scored 19 points to lead East Tennessee State to a 65-51 season-opening victory over Houston Friday evening from Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston, Tex.
East Tennessee State (1-0) broke the game open with a 13-2 run to take a 43-30 lead early in the second half.
Lanny Smith brought Houston (0-1) within 43-33 with a 3-pointer, but it went without a field goal over the next seven minutes as East Tennessee State extended its advantage to 54-36.
The Cougars did not get closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Rhoda was 8-of-10 from the field and sophomore point guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) scored 13 points for the Buccaneers. Senior forward Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) and junior guard Michael Tolliver (Bremo Bluff, Va.) each added nine points, while Wadood dished out a game-high four assists.
Andre Owens scored 15 points for Houston. He also had a game-high eight rebounds.
Cedrick Hensley and Smith added 11 points for the Cougars.
The Bucs return to action Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. as they face Texas Tech from Lubbock, Tex. The game can be heard on the Buccaneer Sports Network, and can be seen on the Tri-Cities UPN, WAPK-TV.