SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Bogdan Bliznyuk continued his climb up the Big Sky scoring ladder, pouring in 40 points on 15-of-18 shooting and Eastern Washington turned back Sacramento State in the second half for a 74-54 victory Thursday night.
Bliznyuk finished 4 for 4 on 3-pointers and 6 for 6 from the free-throw line.
The win holds the Eagles (12-11, 7-3) in third place in the Big Sky behind Montana (10-0) and Weber State (7-2).
Bliznyuk became Eastern’s all-time leading scorer a week ago and with Thursday’s totals, the 6-foot-6 senior from Ukraine climbed to No. 8 in the Big Sky’s all-time list with 1,896 career points. Sacramento State had held Bliznyuk to a season-low two points and five shots Jan. 6.
Sacramento State (6-16, 3-6) fell behind by 19 in the first half but opened the second with a 13-4 run, making four of its first five shots while Eastern missed four of its first five.
The Hornets came as close as 49-41, but Jacob Davison answered with a clutch 3-pointer, pushing the lead back to double digits. He hit another 3-pointer for a 59-45 lead after Bliznyuk stole the ball in transition, fell and, while prone, chucked it to Davison who was standing alone at the left wing. Davison scored 12 points.
By the time Justin Strings ended a three-minute dry spell, Sacramento State trailed 63-47. Strings led with 16 points.