Johnson City, Tenn. – Senior Mike Smith scored a career-high 32 points and Justin Tubbs added 22 as East Tennessee State powered past Furman, 76-63, in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament on Tuesday evening at the ETSU/MHSA Athletics Center.
The Buccaneers improved to 23-10 on the season and advanced to the final 12 of the 24-team tournament while Furman concluded its winningest season since 1980 with a 22-11 mark.
Smith, the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year, connected on 7-of-8 first half field goal attempts and 6-of-6 trips to the foul line in the opening 20 minutes to score 21 before intermission to help ETSU to a 43-31 halftime lead.
Tubbs, a University of Alabama transfer, scored 13 of his 22 in the second half and the Bucs began the final 20 minutes on a 15-6 run to open up a 58-37 advantage as Smith finished a three-point play at the foul line with 13:21 remaining.
Redshirt-freshman Charlie Reddick scored seven of his career-high 12 points on a 14-2 Furman spurt that sliced the ETSU advantage to eight points at 62-54 on Reddick's trey with 7:21 left, but the Paladins were unable to get any closer as Tubbs scored six of the Bucs' next eight points.
East Tennessee State shot 51% from the field and converted on 19-of-22 trips to the foul line. The Bucs committed just 11 turnovers while recording 12 steals and forcing the Paladins into 17 turnovers.
Reddick and Jordan Miller, who buried 4-of-8 three-point attempts in his final game as a Paladins, led the way for Furman with 12 points. The Paladins, who held a 31-27 edge on the glass, shot just 42% from the floor and made only 16-of-27 free throw attempts. The Paladins were 9-of-20 beyond the arc.
ETSU improved to 12-1 at home this season and 24-23 all-time against the Paladins.
"One Spirit. One Team. One Furman."