The Big Sky Conference’s automatic bid belongs to Montana. The Grizzlies rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Eastern Washington 82-65 on Saturday night in the championship game of the Big Sky Tournament.
By the end of the night, every basketball fan in the Big Sky Conference had to wonder: How much more history can Bogdan Bliznyuk and Eastern Washington make in one year?
On a day when the favorites played down to the level of the competition, the Eastern Washington Eagles elevated their game to new heights Thursday night.
Either way, Bogdan Bliznyuk is the surest thing in the Big Sky Conference, the basketball version of another lightly recruited Eagle by the name of Cooper Kupp.
Why not Eastern Washington? Coach Shantay Legans has been asking that question since before the season began, when his Eagles were picked to finish seventh in the Big Sky Conference.
With three minutes, 46 seconds left in Eastern Washington’s 85-68 win over Northern Arizona on Saturday afternoon, Bogdan Bliznyuk made two foul shots to set the Division I record for consecutive free throws with 74.
Saturday afternoon at Reese Court was all about saying bye to a trio of seniors, including career scoring leader Bogdan Bliznyuk, Sir Washington and Benas Griciunas. Then the Eagles went to work, dispatching Northern Arizona 85-68 in front of an appreciative Senior Day crowd of 2,032.
Besides the obvious ones – the Eagles routed Southern Utah 74-51 in front of an appreciative crowd at Reese Court – they reinforced what coach Shantay Legans already knew: This team has a chance to do something special next week.
Besides the chance to build on a four-game winning streak, the Eagles have a chance to earn a first-round bye in next week’s Big Sky Conference tournament and send three players out in style for their final two home games.
Another weekend, another milestone for Eastern Washington forward Bogdan Bliznyuk.
Bogdan Bliznyuk drilled a late 3-pointer to put Eastern Washington in front for good, sending the Eagles to a 74-69 Big Sky Conference victory over Idaho State Saturday night.
Bogdan Bliznyuk scored 27 points, 19 in the second half, and Eastern Washington beat Weber State with a 75-70 victory on Thursday night that ended the Wildcats’ nine-game winning streak.