Bliznyuk breaks Big Sky scoring mark, EWU advances to finals
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Bogdan Bliznyuk made 13 of 17 from the field and finished with 32 points to become to Big Sky Conference’s career-scoring leader as Eastern Washington beat Southern Utah 82-70 on Friday night in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Bliznyuk, who has 2,127 career points, moved past Idaho’s Orlando Lightfoot, who scored 2,102 from 1991-94.
The third-seeded Eagles, who have won eight in a row, will play No. 1 seed Montana in Saturday’s championship game. Eastern Washington beat the Grizzlies 74-65 in the only regular-season matchup between the teams this season.
Bliznyuk, the conference MVP this season, broke the record with a free throw that gave third-seeded EWU (20-13) the lead for good about five minutes and a jumper by Benas Griciunas capped a 10-0 run that made it 62-45 with 11 minutes to go. Jamal Aytes’ layup with 2:37 left capped an 11-2 run and trimmed Southern Utah’s deficit to 72-66, but Jacob Davison scored eight points from there as EWU held on.
Dwayne Morgan and Jadon Cohee scored 15 points apiece for No. 10 seed (13-19) SUU.
Davison finished with 16 points and Griciunas scored 14 on 7-of-7 shooting. The Eagles shot a season-high 64.4 percent (31 of 48) from the field.