03/08/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/09/2018 01:42
Eastern Washington hit six of eight shots to open the game, including four three-pointers. The Eagles led 18-8 by the first media timeout. Making matters worse, Viking point guard and Big Sky Freshman of the Year got two early fouls, limiting his playing time.
Bliznyuk hit his first four three-point attempts of the game. When he made a pair of free throws at the 7:19 mark, the Eagles led 31-15. A moment later, Sir Washington scored on a breakaway dunk, capping a 12-0 run, and it was 35-15.
Woods finally dropped a pair of free throws with 5:11 remaining in the first half ending PSU's six-and-a-half-minute scoring drought. 's steal and breakaway dunk at the 2:19 mark ended a stretch of 10:51 without a field goal.
The Eagles led 43-27 at halftime behind 17 points from Bliznyuk. Portland State made only 8-22 (.364) shots in the first half combined with 10 turnovers. The Eagles hit 13-25 (.520), including seven three-pointers.
Eastern Washington had its lead at 21 early in the second half and were up 68-48 before the Vikings mounted a charge. hit a three-pointer, then scored 10 straight points, including a pair of three-pointers to trim the deficit to 70-59.
Woods driving three-point play with 1:46 left cut it to 72-66. After an Eastern Washington miss, Woods rebounded and was fouled. He made two free throws with 1:15 remaining and the score was 72-68.
But Bliznyuk delivered a fatal blow to the Vikings, making a driving three-point play with 46 seconds left. That put the Eagles up 75-68 and PSU's comeback was over.
Portland State ended the night 22-58 from the field (.379) while the Eagles were 26-50 (.520). They made 10 three-point field goals to five for the Vikings, essentially providing the difference in the game.
The Viking defense forced 18 turnovers and had 13 steals. They converted those Eagle errors into 28 points allowing them to come back and make a game of it.
Brown finished as the Vikings' scoring leader with 14 points on 5-5 field goals, including a pair of threes, and 2-2 free throws. Strickland scored 12 points and Woods added 10.
GAME NOTES: The teams had split the conference season series with each winning on their home court… Portland State's 20 wins mark the third-most in 22 seasons as a member of the Big Sky.