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Boyd helps ETSU to season-opening win

Joe Avento • Nov 6, 2019 at 10:31 PM

JOHNSON CITY — When they announced the starting lineup for East Tennessee State’s basketball team Wednesday night, Tray Boyd III’s name wasn’t called.

He sure made up for lost time.

Boyd came off the bench to score 20 points, leading the Bucs to a 79-50 season-opening victory over Newberry in a non-conference game at Freedom Hall.

Boyd, who led the team in scoring last season, went 7 for 15 from the field, and almost all of his points came on possessions with several passes.

“I think that’s just buying into the system,” said Boyd, who made 3 of 6 from 3-point range. “We practice ‘one more pass’ all the time. To catch it, if you got a shot, you take it. But if you see someone else has a greater shot, you give it up. I think we buy into that.”

ETSU coach Steve Forbes said he expects sharing the ball to be a strength of this year’s team.

“I love that,” Forbes said. “That’s one of the things that’s our identity this year. I think they totally trust each other.”

The Bucs were never really threatened in this game. Newberry, an NCAA Division II team, never led. ETSU’s biggest advantage was 33 points.

Bo Hodges added 14 points for the Bucs, while Patrick Good and Isaiah Tisdale each had 10.

Hodges appeared more aggressive on offense, something Forbes has urged the athletic guard to do. He was 7 of 12 from the field.

“One of the things about running motion is it opens up the floor,” Forbes said. “I thought Bo did a really good job finding the holes and cutting.”

Hodges played much of last season battling various leg injuries. He’s starting this season 100%.

“It feels great not having to worry about injuries, not having to play with injuries” Hodges said. “I feel great right now.”

GOING SMALL

Forbes went with a small lineup for a while in the second half, using three players — Hodges, Boyd and Vonnie Patterson — who are 6-foot-4 along with the 6-foot Good and 6-foot-1 Daivien Williamson.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Wolves were led by Angelo Sales Jr. with 12 points. Marshall Lange added 11. Newberry managed just four assists and committed 17 turnovers.

ETSU went 8 of 20 from 3-point range, shot 48% overall and out-rebounded Newberry 39-27.

JOE’S OUT

ETSU senior forward Joe Hugley, who suffered a knee injury in the Bucs’ exhibition game, had his X-rays and MRI come back negative. He was diagnosed with a deep bruise in his knee and is expected to return in 3-5 weeks.

MONSANTO RED-SHIRT

Damari Monsanto, a 6-foot-6 freshman shooting guard, sat out Wednesday night’s game and will red-shirt this season. Forbes said it would be good for Monsanto’s development to sit and watch while retaining a year of eligibility.

UP NEXT

The Bucs hit the road for the first time Saturday when they head to Tennessee-Martin for a non-conference game.

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