Bliznyuk Just Short of Record After 66-62 Eagle Overtime Loss at SUU
CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Big Sky Conference road sweep is an elusive beast.
With Bogdan Bliznyuk coming up just short in his quest for the school’s career scoring record, the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team came up just short of a road sweep when the Eagles lost 66-62 to Southern Utah Saturday (Jan. 20) in Cedar City, Utah.
Bliznyuk finished with a team-leading 18 after entering the game needing 19 to tie and 20 to break EWU’s all-time scoring record. He played just 27 minutes because of foul trouble, but fellow senior Sir Washington stepped up to finish with a season-high 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. Sophomore Mason Peatling had his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“Sir played great, he is starting to step up as a senior,” said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans . “He is playing with a lot of composure and freedom and has confidence. That is what we need. He played terrific today and I am proud of him. I am really proud of how he came out today and kept us in this ball game.”
Neither team scored in the final 2:22 of regulation as the game was knotted at 54 heading into overtime. The Thunderbirds hit their first two shots of overtime and was 4-of-6 in the extra period, while EWU was 3-of-7 in OT.
Coupled with last Thursday’s 81-76 win at Northern Arizona, the Eagles have now split on the road six-straight times, dating back to the 2015-16 season when the Eagles swept the same Southern Utah and Northern Arizona road trip. One trip earlier that season, Eastern was swept by the Montana schools.
Bliznyuk now has 1,802 career points, only one away from the all-time record of 1,803 set by his former teammate Venky Jois from 2013-16. Bliznyuk should get it early in EWU’s next game at home versus North Dakota on Thursday (Jan. 25) at 6:05 p.m. Eastern also hosts Northern Colorado next week on Saturday (Jan. 27).
The Eagles will end the regular season against SUU and NAU in Cheney, facing the Thunderbirds on March 1 and the Lumberjacks three days later.
Records . . .
* The Eagles are now 9-11 on the season and 4-3 in the Big Sky, and have still won six of their last nine games.
* Southern Utah lost 80-76 at home to Idaho on Thursday, and are now 8-10 overall (7-3 at home) and 2-5 in the league. The Thunderbirds earlier this season knocked off Long Beach State, Central Michigan and San Jose State to start the season 6-4. Southern Utah’s top four scorers are all transfers, including three from NCAA Division I programs.