JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – ETSU men’s basketball got its unofficial start to the 2023 campaign in front of the home fans on Monday night. The Blue and Gold, led by first-year head coach Brooks Savage, cruised past UVA Wise in Freedom Hall, 105-55.

The Bucs would have broken the program’s single-game record for three-pointers, hitting 18 shots from behind the arc.

The visiting Cavaliers scored the game’s first two points on a pair of free throws, but from there, it was all Bucs. They opened the game on a 33-5 run and never looked back.

“We treated this very seriously,” Savage said. “And I think that showed early. And we talked about playing to a standard of of being us and taking this opportunity to get better.”

Two of ETSU’s four returning players led the way on the stat sheet against the Highland Cavs. Junior forward Jaden Seymour scored a game-high 17 points, while chipping in eight rebounds and three blocks.

“I feel like I can showcase myself a little bit more,” he said, after knocking down four three-pointers. “Just play my game and show what I can do, really.”

Redshirt junior guard Justice Smith hit 6-of-9 shots for 15 points and dished out a team-best six assists.

USC-Aiken transfer, Karon Boyd, got the start at forward for Brooks Savage and company. He scored ten points, grabbed seven boards and tallied four assists.

“It was very important,” he said of the win. “Coaches want us to do everything we were supposed to do and not lollygag around just come in, execute, swing the rock, get assists up and then take good shots.”

Braden Illic was the other Buc to reach double-digit points (11) on the evening.

Transfer guards Quimari Peterson and Ebby Asamoah also earned spots in the starting lineup and chipped in eight points each.

ETSU finished the game shooting 53.4 % (39-73) from the field in the game, while UVA Wise shot just 21.9 % (14-64) on the night.

Patrick Shelley led the way for the Highland Cavs with 16 points, while Wise County native, Isaiah McAmis chipped in three points off the bench for the visitors.

ETSU will play its first regular season game next Monday against another local Division II opponent, King. Tip-off from Freedom Hall is set for 7 p.m.