Bliznyuk saves E. Washington in 78-72 win over Portland St.
RENO, Nevada (AP) — Bogdan Bliznyuk scored 35 points and third-seeded Eastern Washington held off a late Portland State rally to beat the sixth-seeded Vikings 78-72 in a Big Sky Conference Tournament quarterfinal game Thursday night.
Eastern Washington (19-13) faces No. 10 seed Southern Utah in a semifinal game on Friday.
Bliznyuk scored the last eight points for the Eagles to seal the win. The Vikings made it a game when Derek Brown scored eight consecutive points to start a 12-2 run to narrow their deficit to 72-63 with 4:33 remaining. Holland Woods scored five straight to reduce the margin to four with 72 seconds left. Bliznyuk — who finished 11-of-14 shooting — responded with five straight in a nine-second span and the Eagles held on as Portland State missed six of its last seven shots.
Ryan Edwards’ layup 25 seconds in was the Vikings’ only lead of the game. Eastern Washington made six of its first eight shots — four from 3-point range — and Bliznyuk’s 3 made it 18-8. Later, he made a pair of 3s and two free throws to make it 31-15.
Bliznyuk scored 17 in the first half on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range and made 5 of 6 fouls shots. Jack Perry scored 14 for EWU.
Brown led the Vikings (20-13) with 14 points.