OGDEN, Utah – 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.
The Wildcats (19-8, 12-3), with alum and Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard in attendance, dropped a game behind first-place Montana (13-2), which was idle, in the Big Sky Conference while the Eagles (15-13, 10-5) moved to within a game of third-place Idaho (11-4), which lost at Idaho State.
“Our guys fought through everything tonight,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans. “They followed the game plan to a T and we had some exceptional step-ups by our freshmen. But everybody contributed when they got on the floor, and that’s exactly what you need to beat teams like this.”
Jerrick Harding’s basket had Weber State within three with nine seconds left but Bliznyuk, who came into the game having made 63 consecutive free throws, sank his only two attempts of the game with five seconds remaining. Bliznyuk moved into third place for single-season consecutive makes, one out of second and eight from the mark held by Gary Buchanan (Villanova, 2000-01).
Bliznyuk now has 1,996 points with three games remaining in the Eagles’ regular season. The Big Sky career-scoring record is held by Idaho’s Orlando Lightfoot with 2,102 points.
“It’s Bogdan’s show. He takes what the defenses give him and doesn’t force shots,” added Legans. “His teammates have so much trust in him and get him the ball when he’s open.”
Jacob Davison scored 17 points, 12 in the second half, off the bench for the Eagles with Mason Peatling adding 15.
“It was a huge game for our team and a huge game for our program,” said Legans. “It always comes back to the preseason, and that crazy road schedule we had early. They bought in and believed in it, and it made them tougher for games like this.”
Jerrick Hardin scored 17 points to lead Weber. Brekkott Chapman notched 15 points and Ryan Richardson scored 14.
Davison capped a 9-0 run with five points with EWU taking the lead for good 56-49 with 7:43 left.
The Wildcats are now 6-30 all-time at Weber State.
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