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Huskies outlast Wildcats in thrilling Pac-10 title game

LOS ANGELES – Both participants in the 2011 Pac-10 title
game were looking to cut the nets down for a second time
in a row.

For the #15 Arizona Wildcats (27-7, 14-4) they were
looking to add to their Pac-10 regular season title. For
the Washington Huskies (23-10, 11-7) they were trying to
repeat as Pac-10 conference champions.

Isaiah Thomas hit a long two as time expired to propel the
Huskies over the top-seeded Wildcats in overtime 77-75 at
the Staples Center Saturday night.

Lorenzo Romar summed the most exciting Pac-10 game of the
year best.

“Isaiah Thomas saved his best for last,” he said.
“Whenever a game leads you to win a championship, it’s a
victory that you will always remember.”

Arizona star Derrick Williams was in agreement with Romar.

“That is going to go down as one of the best shots in Pac-
10 history,” Williams said.

Thomas, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding
Player for the second year in a row, had 28 points and
seven assists in 45 minutes Saturday in his third game in
as many days. Freshman Terrence Ross added 16 points for
the Huskies, well above his average of 7.7 per game and CJ
Wilcox had nine, including a deuce to tie the game with
5.7 seconds left in regulation.

If there was an Iron Man award, Thomas should win that as

“Look at the stat sheet, 28 points, seven assists, 45
minutes on the third game in three days. Physically to
play 45 minutes, three games in three days is almost
impossible,” Miller said.

Even Thomas himself acknowledged that he was out of gas at
the end of the overtime period.

“In one of the timeouts I told him [Matthew Bryan-
Amaning], I’m tired man. I’m not worried about scoring,”
Thomas said.

The Wildcats used a balanced attack against the Huskies,
getting eight players in the scoring column. Williams had
24 points and 11 rebounds while Kevin Parrom and Solomon
Hill each added 12 points.

Second chances were key to the Huskies second conference
tournament championship under Romar. The Huskies dominated
the glass 50-34, including 12 offensive rebounds to the
Wildcats seven.

“… give up 16 second shots, and especially late. Some of
the possessions that we were on defense it seemed like an
eternity because they were getting two and three shots,”
Miller said.

While the Wildcats may be down, they are certainly not

“You never want to go into the tournament with a loss like
that,” Williams said. “But at the same time we
accomplished a lot so far. We’ve just got to get back on
Sunday, see who we play, and get back to practice on

The Huskies and Wildcats will await their fate come
Selection Sunday. Both teams are sure to get in, but only
the Huskies are guaranteed a spot by virtue of their
victory Saturday night.

“I’m looking forward to find and see where Arizona’s going
to go and play in the tournament because they are a really
good basketball team,” Romar said.