JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 20, 2010) - Senior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) scored a career high 26 points to power the ETSU men's basketball team to a 73-60 Homecoming win over in-state rival Tennessee Tech Saturday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Smith was joined in double figures by senior guard Justin Tubbs (Trussville, Ala.) with 13, while junior forward Isiah Brown (Miami) and senior guard Micah Williams (Manchester) pitched in 10 apiece. Defensively, the Bucs held the Golden Eagles to just 37 percent shooting from the floor, forced 17 turnovers, and out-rebounded Tech 37-35.
"It's nice to be back home in the Dome," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team was suffering from a two-game losing streak on the road to open the year. "I can't say enough about Mike Smith. He really did some nice things for us out there tonight, and that's what we expect to see out of him. It was good for us to get back in here and get a win."
In the first half, the Bucs trailed 8-4 with just over 15 minutes left in the half, but used a 16-0 run to build a 12-point advantage over the next five minutes. Tech answered that barraged by cutting the lead to two at 25-23, but the Bucs were ultimately able to pull away to a 32-25 advantage at the break.
After the intermission, ETSU once again grew its lead to 12 at 47-35 thanks to a 7-0 run. However, Tech clawed its way back into it and got to within four at 58-54 with six minutes remaining. At that point, the Bucs used a final 8-0 spurt to build a comfortable 66-54 edge and pull away for the win.
The Bucs committed just 12 turnovers in the game and grabbed seven steals. They also outscored the Golden Eagle 21-13 in points off turnovers, and enjoyed a 32-24 advantage with points in the paint. ETSU's defense also held Tech to just 24 percent shooting from 3-point range, but Tech did hit on 81 percent (17-of-21) from the charity stripe.
Tennessee Tech was led offensively by Alfred Jones and Kevin Murphy with 13 points apiece, while Zach Bailey pitched in 10.
Along with their solid point totals, Brown finished with a team-high nine rebounds, while Williams picked up eight boards.
The Bucs will return to action next Saturday, Nov. 27, when they take on nearby Milligan College at 4 p.m. inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the 2010-11 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's hoops link.