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3 keys in SUU's 82-70 Big Sky Tournament semifinal loss to Eastern Washington



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RENO, Nev. — The SUU Thunderbirds’ Cinderella ride in the Big Sky Tournament ended Friday night with an 82-70 semifinal loss to the Eastern Washington Eagles.

Turning point: Up 17-15 with 12:05 remaining in the first half, the Eagles went on an 8-0 run and kept a steady lead from there until a late charge from the Thunderbirds brought them to within six with 2:37 left, but they couldn’t come all the way back.

The hero: Big Sky Player of the Year Bogdan Bliznyuk scored 17 points in the first half for Eastern Washington and finished with 32. He became the Big Sky’s all-time scoring leader in the process.

3 keys:

- The Eagles shot nearly 65 percent from the field. They finished with seven more free-throw attempts (21-14) and seven more makes (16-9) from the charity stripe. EWU guard Jacob Davison was a perfect 9 of 9.

- SUU committed 17 turnovers while the Eagles had 12.

- After averaging 22.5 points in SUU’s two tournament wins, Brandon Better scored just seven on Friday night.

SUU almanac: 13-19, Lost 1

Up next: Postseason play, TBD