JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 14, 2002) - Tiras Wade (Tampa, Fla.) once scored 50 points in a game during his high school years. He was on pace to eclipse that mark Saturday.
He settled for 34.
Wade hit on his first eight shots of the game - including five straight from beyond the 3-point line - and went on to set a new career high for scoring with 34 points on 13-of-16 shooting as East Tennessee State (3-3) dropped non-conference foe University of Virginia at Wise 106-70 at Brooks Gym.
"I've not been in a zone like this since high school," said Wade, who finished with six 3-pointers, just one shy of the school record of seven set by former ETSU star Dimeco Childress (Columbia) against Vanderbilt during the 2000-'01 season. "I was really feeling it in the first half and I have to thank my teammates for finding me. I was on the receiving end of a lot of good passes.
"But really, it could have easily been anyone tonight."
The game, which was played in Brooks Gym due to winter graduation ceremonies at Memorial Center, began with a flurry of action from Wade. He scored 28 points in the first half alone, connecting on 11-of-12 field goal attempts. UVa.-Wise (8-4) had no answers defensively, and the result was a 57-36 halftime deficit.
Wade's efforts opened the door for others on offense, as Buccaneer teammates Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) and Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) scored 15 and 10 points, respectively. Smtih also just missed a double-double with a game-high nine assists.
Another nice surprise for the Bucs was the play of post Shannon Huffstetler (Mount Holly, N.C.) The senior did manage to pick up the night's only double-double with a team-high 13 rebounds and 10 points.
"At this point for the East Tennessee State program everything is just moving up and it's not a good time to be playing them," said Wise head coach Lee Clark. "I think they're on the verge of getting back to the era of (Greg) Dennis, (Calvin) Talford and those guys. They just had us out-quicked and out-sized at every position."
The Bucs dominance continued in the second half, as they outscored their NAIA opponent 49-34. For Wise, Zack Moore led the way with 18 points, followed by 16 points for Bobby Iiedrick and 12 for Ricky Brown.
ETSU will begin short preparations for a road trip to Atlantic Coast Conference Virginia on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
"They are a very, very good team," said ETSU head coach Ed DeChellis. "They are a little different than they were last year in that they are more post-oriented. They are big and physical inside, and they have guys that can score in the paint."