BY Bob Sherwin 12:51PM 02/14/2011

Huskies’ Thomas Pac-10′s best for third time

Washington’s Isaiah Thomas has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week once again. The obliteration of Cal coupled with his spurt at the end of the first half against Stanford delivered the extra hardware.

Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for a third time this season / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Isaiah Thomas, the Washington Huskies junior guard considered a top candidate for the Pac-10′s Player of the Year, added to his resume today. He was selected the conference Player of the Week for the third time this season.

Thomas averaged 22.5 points, five assists, three rebounds and shot 56.5 percent (13-of-23), including 10-of-18 from beyond the 3-point line (55.6 percent) in a sweep of the Bay Area schools. That snapped the Huskies’ season-high three game losing streak.

Thomas won the award for the weeks of Jan. 10 and Jan. 24. He is the fourth Husky in history to win the award at least three times in one season, joining Brandon Roy (2005-06), Jon Brockman (2007-08) and Quincy Pondexter (2009-2010).

In Thursday’s 109-77 rout of California, Thomas dictated the action, scoring 23 points with nine assists and four rebounds in just 26 minutes. He hit a career-high six 3-pointers in his eight attempts. He left with six minutes remaining and the Huskies leading by 32. It was the widest margin of victory ever against a Pac-10 opponent.

His game Saturday against Stanford was more eventful. Banks of lights went out about five minutes into the game, dimming the brightness of the court. Then Thomas took a finger in the left eye from teammate Darnell Gant that sidelined him for four minutes. When he returned with eight minutes left, he still had no points and just one assist.

Finally, with 2:37 left in the half, he hit a 3-pointer. That set him off on a surge. He scored 14 points to close the half, including four straight 3-pointers. The Huskies went on to out-score the Cardinal 17-6 and set up a 48-31 lead at halftime. He finished with 22 points.

His scoring production moved Thomas in some elite company in the school record books. He joined Eldridge Recasner as the only other Husky with 1,500 points, 300 assists and 100 steals in their career. He is third all-time at Washington with 82 double-figure scoring games.

Thomas, a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and the Naismith Award, is the 42nd Husky to be presented with the award. Matthew Bryan-Amaning also won it this year for the week of Jan. 3.

The Huskies (17-7, 9-4 in the Pac-10) are in third place with a showdown week ahead in Arizona. The Huskies play Arizona State (9-15, 1-11) Thursday then Saturday afternoon at McKale Center they’ll face first-place Arizona (21-4, 10-2).

Poll position
Washington is 32nd in the latest Associated Press poll and 29th in the newest coaches’ poll.

Tournament time
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi projects Washington as a No. 7 seed and has it facing Marquette in his latest edition of Bracketology.


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