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Eastern Washington’s Bogdan Bliznyuk wins fourth Big Sky weekly award

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 26, 2018, 9:03 p.m.

Eastern Washington’s Bogdan Bliznyuk (32) gets around Weber State’s Zach Braxton, right, during an NCAA college basketball game in Ogden, Utah, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Benjamin Zack / Associated Press)
Eastern Washington’s Bogdan Bliznyuk (32) gets around Weber State’s Zach Braxton, right, during an NCAA college basketball game in Ogden, Utah, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Benjamin Zack / Associated Press)

Another weekend, another milestone for Eastern Washington forward Bogdan Bliznyuk.

Make that two: after passing the 2,000-point mark last weekend, Bliznyuk was rewarded Monday with his fourth Big Sky Conference player of the week award.

Bliznyuk now has six weekly awards, one more than former Eagle legends Tyler Harvey and Venky Jois won in their careers, and one shy of the school record of seven set by 10-year NBA standout Rodney Stuckey.

More important, Bliznyuk led EWU (16-13 overall and 11-5 in the conference) to its first road sweep in two years. He averaged 22.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game in victories over Weber State and Idaho State.

Bliznyuk sank 19 of 35 shots in the two games and made both of his free throws, and also was 4 of 8 from the 3-point arc.

Against first-place Weber State, Bliznyuk made 11 of 21 shots to finish with 27 points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists. At Idaho State he made 8 of 14 shots from the field and finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

“It’s Bogdan’s show,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans after the Weber State win. “He takes what the defenses give him and doesn’t force shots. “

His 3-pointer with 1:31 left against ISU gave Eastern the lead for good in the 74-69 win, and his two free throws with five seconds left clinched a 75-70 victory over WSU to snap the nine-game winning streak of the Wildcats.

Bliznyuk still has a chance to move up the league’s all-time scoring list. Currently No. 5 in league Bliznyuk has at least three more games to leave his mark. His 2,013 career points in 132 career games is just four from moving into the No. 4 position and six from ranking in the top three.

Currently ranking ahead of him are current Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystokowiak from Montana with 2,017 points from 1982-85 and Bruce Collins from Weber State with 2,019 from 1976-80.

Bliznyuk enters action this week having made 65 consecutive free throws dating back to EWU’s game at North Dakota on Dec. 31.

The NCAA single-season record is 73 set by Gary Buchanan from Villanova over a 21-game stretch in the 2000-01 season.

The career record of 85 came between Feb. 15, 2001, and Jan. 18, 2003, by Darnell Archey from Butler during a 57-game stretch.


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