JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- Mike Smith scored a career-high 26 points and East Tennessee State won its first game of the season on Saturday, 73-60 over in-state rival Tennessee Tech.
East Tennessee State used a 16-0 run to pull ahead 20-12 and led 32-25 at halftime.
The Golden Eagles (0-2) closed to 58-54 with 5:43 left after 3-pointers from Zach Bailey and Zac Swansey, but the Buccaneers hit 3 of 4 free throws and Tubbs made a 3 to extend the lead into double figures for good.
Tennessee Tech shot just 36.5 percent from the floor (19 of 52) compared to 40 percent for East Tennessee State (22 of 55). The Buccaneers made 24 of 30 free throws.
East Tennessee State leads the series 36-33.