Five players reached double figures for the Buccaneers in their opener with A.J. Merriweather adding 17, Deuce Bello 16 and Desonta Bradford 11. Eastern Tennessee hit 35 of 65 shots (53.8 percent) and outrebounded the Cougars 49-33. Merriweather grabbed 10 rebounds, eight off the defensive boards, and had five of the Bucs' nine steals.
Averett, the defending USA South Atlantic Conference champ, is the preseason No. 1 pick in a coaches' conference poll.
Austin DeLucia led the Cougars with 13 points with James Contreras Jr. adding 11 and Trevor West and Bradley Robinson 10 each.