Late Run Not Enough as Vikings Beat Eagles 94-81 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Late Run Not Enough as Vikings Beat Eagles 94-81

Photo: EWU Athletics Photo: EWU Athletics

by EWU Athletics

Portland State got hot, and was able to cool off EWU's hottest player.
Despite a late run that pared a 15-point lead down to seven, the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team suffered a 94-81 loss to Portland State Saturday (Feb. 3) in Portland, Ore. The game took place at Lewis & Clark College while the 3,000-seat Viking Pavilion, a $50 million renovation of the 50-year-old Peter W. Stott Center, is being built on the PSU campus.
Eastern trailed from start to finish, but had a 10-2 run to pull within seven with 5:14 left. The Vikings then scored the next six points to end EWU's comeback hopes before sealing the win at the free throw line.
Portland State scored the most points the Eagles have allowed all season - just one game after EWU had its best defensive performance of the year in a 74-54 win at Sacramento State. Eastern allowed 44 points in the paint to be scored by PSU.
"I haven't said it too many times this season that our energy wasn't where it needed to be," said Eastern head coach Shantay Legans. "We didn't play the way we should have been playing. It's tough. We just didn't execute what we wanted to do."
The loss dropped Eastern to 7-4 in the league season and evened Eastern's record at 12-12 on the year. Portland State snapped a three-game losing streak in improving to 14-9 overall and 4-6 in the conference.
Eastern all-time leading scorer Bogdan Bliznyuk, who had scored 94 points in his last three outings, was held to 13 points and 11 total shots, but did have team highs of nine rebounds and six assists. The Eagles made 48.5 percent of their shots, but allowed a season high of 57.6 percent.
Junior Cody Benzel had 21 points with seven 3-pointers, and senior Sir Washington had 12 points and a pair of treys as the Eagles made 11-of-34 3-point attempts. EWU 7-footer Benas Griciunas sank all five of his shots and finished with 10 points.
Records . . . 
* The Eagles are 12-12 on the season and 7-4 in the Big Sky, and have still won nine of their last 13 games.
* The Vikings are 4-6 in the league and 14-9 overall, and were coming off a 97-88 home loss to Idaho on Thursday that was the third-straight loss for PSU.