Cheney Free Press -

Sports Briefs


February 22, 2018


Eastern men wrap up Big Sky road play

The long and winding road — at least on opponent home courts in the regular season — ends this week for the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team.

With Bogdan Bliznyuk approaching more history, the Eagles face one of the hottest teams in the Big Sky Conference Thursday, Feb. 22 when they visit Weber State, then play Saturday, Feb. 24 at Idaho State. Both games will tip-off at 6:05 p.m.

Eastern is clinging to fourth place in the league standings, a position which would give the Eagles the last of four first-round byes in the Big Sky Conference Tournament. Eastern is 14-13 overall and 9-5 in the conference, and has a significant tiebreaker advantage in the league by beating Montana 74-65 on Thursday (Feb. 15) and Montana State 84-79 on Feb. 17 at Reese Court.

Eastern delivered the Grizzlies their first conference loss to snap UM’s 13-game winning streak, and now has the opportunity to hand Weber State only its third conference loss and snap the nine-game winning streak of the Wildcats. Weber State is 19-7 overall and 12-2 in the conference, just a half-game from Montana at 13-2.


Bliznyuk earns another Big Sky player of week award

Bogdan Bliznyuk, Eastern Washington University men’s basketball standout, moved up four positions on the Big Sky Conference’s all-time scoring list in a sweep last week of the Montana schools, and was rewarded with Ready Nutrition Player of the Week honors, announced Feb. 19. The senior has now been selected three times by the league this season and five times in his career.

On his way to moving into fifth in Big Sky Conference history in career scoring with 1,969 points, Bliznyuk averaged 22.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists while leading the Eagles to wins over Montana and Montana State. Five other different Eagles had double-figure scoring performances in the sweep — and one performance with 13 rebounds — as the Eagles kept hold of fourth place in the league standings.

Bliznyuk is now 31 points from becoming just the fifth player in league history to hit the 2,000-point mark in his career after making 53.3 percent of his shots from the field and all 11 of his free throws last week. He has extended his streak of charity shots without a miss to 63.



Final home games for EWU women

Following a split on their road trip to Montana — winning 75-72 in Missoula against Montana before falling in Bozeman to Montana State 77-74 — the Eastern Washington women return to Reese Court for their final regular-season home games.

The Eagles play host to Weber State on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6:05 pm. On Saturday, seniors Delaney Hodgins and Mariah Cunningham will be honored for their four years at Eastern for Senior Day against Idaho State at 2:05 pm.

Eastern’s all-time leading scorer Hodgins now has 1,977 career points. The total places her fourth on the Big Sky’s all-time list as she looks to become just the fourth player in conference history to surpass 2,000 points. She is just 18 points away from third with four regular season games remaining. The all-time record is 2,296 set by Natalie Doma from Idaho State (2004-08).

The Eagles now drop to 13-13 on the season and 8-7 in Big Sky play.


Vote for Hodgins in Senior Class award

After being named a candidate on Jan. 4, Eastern Washington University forward Delaney Hodgins has been selected as one of just 10 women’s basketball seniors across Division I to be named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. She is the only member of the Big Sky Conference to be selected to the list.

Fan votes count for 1/3 of the total and the other 2/3 is determined by NCAA Division I coaches and national media members. Vote at

In Thursday’s 20-point victory over Northern Arizona, the senior scored a career-high 30 points on 11-for-28 shooting including 5-for-11 from 3-point range. She also pulled down eight boards and had three steals in addition to one assist.

She followed up Thursday’s performance with her fourth double-double of the season, adding 17 (7-for-14) points and tying her season-high 12 rebounds in the win over Southern Utah.


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