CEDAR CITY, Utah – Bogdan Bliznyuk scored a career-high 26 points and made 11 of 12 free throws to lead Eastern Washington to an 81-67 victory over Southern Utah on Saturday night for its fourth consecutive win.
Austin McBroom scored 19 points and Venky Jois added 11 points with 11 rebounds and three assists for the Eagles (13-10, 7-4), who shot 52 percent from the field and made 20 of 24 free throws.
Trailing 38-29 at halftime, the Thunderbirds rallied to within 55-53 on Christian Thompson’s layup with 10:39 to play in the second half. Felix Van Hofe’s 3 sparked a 9-3 run and EWU was back on top 64-56, but Southern Utah closed to within 64-60 on Race Parson’s layup.
Van Hofe hit another 3 for a 71-63 Eagles lead with 2:21 left. EWU finished on a 10-4 run in which Bliznyuk scored four free throws.
Race Parsons scored 18 points with a season-high four 3-pointers for Southern Utah (4-17, 2-9), which has lost six straight.
“Our players really toughed it out and were offensively efficient,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford, whose team kept SUU at the 60-point mark for a key 2:21 stretch. “It was good that in both games we just came in, played to our identity, and left with wins and a sweep.”
Eastern plays North Dakota on Thursday at Reese Court in a battle of 7-4 teams in the league standings. North Dakota knocked off the Eagles 79-71 in the second league game of the year for both teams.
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