EWU Eagles

Despite Big Night by Bliznyuk and Furious Rally, Hot Start by USF Gives Dons 81-71 Win

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Eastern Washington University men's basketball team won the second half with its best-scoring half of the season, but a hot start by San Francisco spoiled a huge performance by Bogdan Bliznyuk as the Eagles fell to the Dons 81-71 at venerable War Memorial Gym Thursday (Dec. 7).
Eastern trailed by 26 in the first half, but rallied and out-scored the Dons 47-36 in the second half. Thanks to runs of 8-0 and 10-0 after intermission, the Eagles cut the lead to six on two occasions in the last 5:43 before the Dons held on for the win by making their last 10 free throws in the final minute.
"We have character and we found some guys who could bring us back," said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans. "You have to play with a certain edge and we took it to heart in the second half. But we have come out and be ready to go from the start."
San Francisco improved to 5-3 while the Eagles fell to 3-6. Eastern had defeated the Dons in each of the last three seasons, including road wins in 2014 and 2015.
Senior Bogdan Bliznyuk scored a season-high 31 points and had 10 rebounds to record his 16th career double-double. In the process, he moved up two spots into third on EWU's career scoring leaders list. He now has 1,572 career points, just 231 behind the school record of 1,803 set by his former teammate Venky Jois from 2013-16.
Sophomore Mason Peatling scored 11 points and junior Ty Gibson added 10 for the Eagles. True freshman Jack Perry, making the first start of his career, had six points and six rebounds.
"The good thing about this schedule and the preseason is that it's getting us ready for the Big Sky Conference schedule," added Legans. "We will find seven or eight guys who will play hard like that the whole time."