BY Bob Sherwin 03:11PM 03/12/2011

Thomas thrills; UW wins Pac-10 tourney

Fallaway trey at buzzer from Thomas, voted Most Outstanding Player, electrifies Staples Center and gives UW consecutive tourney titles

Washington's Isaiah Thomas won his second consecutive Most Outstanding Player award in the Pac-10 tourney / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Washington 77, Arizona 75

Date: March 11, 2011

Venue: Staples Center

City: Los Angeles

Attendance: 12,074

LOS ANGELES — Isaiah Thomas capped off a sensational Pac-10 Tournament by hitting an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer as the Washington Huskies beat No. 1-seeded Arizona in overtime, 77-75, Saturday afternoon at Staples Center. Arizona’s Kevin Parrom hit a three with 19 seconds left to tie. Thomas, taking his time and controlling the ball the entire possession, worked around the top of the key, faked his defender then rose to the occasion. He had a season-high 28 points and seven assists and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament for the second year in a row. The Huskies, as the No. 3 seed, also won the tournament for the second year in a row and are an automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament.

Star Of The Game
Isaiah Thomas Hit the 18-foot game-winner as time expired for the victory. He had a season-high 28 points and seven assists.

Play of the game
Final shot by Isaiah Thomas, a 18-foot jumper from the left side that went in as the game ended.

Misplay of the game
There was some criticism that UA Coach Sean Miller should have had his players foul in the final seconds of regulation when his team leading by three points. A foul would have put the Huskies at the free-throw line with only a chance at two points.

Highlights

  • Isaiah Thomas Hit the game-winner as time expired, finished with a season-high 28 points and was named Most Outstanding Player for the second year in a row.
  • Terrence Ross Had 16 points in a career-high 36 minutes. He hit 7-of-13 from the floor.
  • Matthew Bryan-Amaning Struggled with foul trouble, foulling out in OT, and finished with nine points and three rebounds.
  • Aziz N’Diaye Was active underneath, particularly in the first half. He had four points and seven rebounds.
  • Justin Holiday Did not make a point in 31 minutes, but pulled down seven rebounds and had two assists.
  • C.J. Wilcox Scored nine points but hit a huge three-pointer – his only one – with seven seconds left in regulation to force the overtime.
  • Darnell Gant Led the team with eight rebounds and added six points in his 29 minutes.
  • Scott Suggs Five points and two rebounds in 17 minutes.

 Notable

  • Isaiah Thomas Named the tournament Most Outstanding Player for the second year in a row.
  • Isaiah Thomas Set the tournament record for assists with 30. The old record was 24 held by three players including OSU’s Gary Payton.
  • Terrence Ross Named to the all-tournament team, the only freshman on the six-man team.
  • This was the first title game to go into overtime and it was the closest score ever.

Said

“It’s a good time for us to be playing together and to be playing right, I know that much. Where we go, we’ll just wait for the call, prepare yourself, then you go.” – UW Coach Lorenzo Romar on gaining a bid into the NCAA Tournament.

  • “He’s an all-American. How many players do more for their teams than he does? When he made that shot, that was the 45th minute mark in his third game. That says a lot about who he is as a player.” – Arizona Coach Sean Miller on UW guard Isaiah Thomas.
  • “God made the ball go in the hoop.” – UW’s Isaiah Thomas on hitting the game-winning shot that beat Arizona in overtime, 77-75.
  • “I was going to try to get to the hoop but at the same time I’m not going to force it. I’ve seen guys like Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and guys like that always try to get to the elbow, and not settle for the three.” – UW’s Isaiah Thomas thoughts on setting up his game-winning shot.

Injuries

  • Venoy Overton Did not play in the three games because of a suspension for distributing liquor to a minor. He will be back for the NCAA Tournament.

Numbers

  • 3 – Number of times in which the Huskies have played Arizona in the tournament. They have won all three, including two in the title game.
  • 6 – Number of assists by Isaiah Thomas beyond the previous record in the tournament. He had 30 overall. The previous mark was 24.
  • 8 – Number of consecutive victories for the Huskies in Los Angeles.
  • 2 – Number of three seeds to win the tournament, both by the Huskies.
  • 3 – Pac-10 Tournaments won by the Huskies.

YourThoughts

  • Golstriker

    Truly a fabulous game to watch and all kudos to Coach Romar and staff for getting this team ready to fight and compete against difficult odds. The Little Big Man, Isaiah, showed leadership through three games and in the end, his ability and the size of his heart, along with some extremely clutch threes from Wilcox and Ross, brought the title home. Congratulations Huskies and to a team that rose up to roar when most people thought they would wimper off into the darkness. I think if they play to full potential, they could make a run int the tournament.

  • Greg

    Maybe the best college game I’ve watched in years . Great game Dawgs !! I.T. was absolutely unstoppable …

    I’ll tell ya what , Holiday never scored and they still won ! This team gets a motivated Venoy Overton back and Holiday gets his act together and they could make a run . Isaiah seems to be able to put the team on his back when needed . They’re hot at just the right time going into the NCAA’s .

    Fingers crossed they keep playing like that from now on out ! GO DAWGS !!

  • thxNJ7Z

    As bad as the Seahawks were, the saddest part of the game was seeing Dick Stockton struggle so mightily. He seemed utterly confused. I hope he’s OK. seriously, I mean, it was like watching someone inflicted with dimentia.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like they should put in an O- guard at the fullback position, until the O-Line can jell.

  • SpudzDP

    A former UW QB, named Hugh said that it was the sloppy and weak play by Okung and Carpenter that forced our highly paid TE to block more.  Robinson’s injury explains it better.  Both factors made the first half hard to watch.  But I think the Seahawks will play better in Pittsburgh.  They will lose, but play better than they did in SF.

  • 3 Lions

    will they rollover or fight?

  • “the last refuge of the light-thinking fan” love that line. My greatest concern re: Jackson is that he has not been able to find either Miller or Williams, both of whom have proven their abilities as receivers. He needs to get comfortable throwing to them and looking for them right away if the offense is going to get on track.

  • UW interim president Phyllis Wise didn’t care for the Duck diss, and ordered Woodward to apologize  Forgot to mention that wise as member of Nike board was instrumental in getting new nike contract for UW.  Interesting omission

    • Art, Ive seen this story written a lot the last couple years, as Oregon has taken off. And I agree to an extent, it is a “competitive advantage” perse we here at Oregon have with Uncle Phil. However, I think its a little too easy and convinient to just say we are winning bc of him. Uncle Phil has been contributing to the school since the mid 90’s, with facilities and uniforms that have been cutting edge and are being copied across the nation the last couple years. But we didnt get to the status that we are now until the last couple years. How could that be, since as you say its all about Uncle Phils money? I have a different theory, and most Oregon fans will agree. Two words: Chip Kelly. Mike Bellotti did a great job building up the program, but 5-6 years ago when we had basically the same facilities, same cutting edge uniforms and the same type of athletes, and we were muddling around in the middle of the Pac 10. We had a great BCS run in 2001, but that was 10 years ago. The difference was the hire of Chip Kelly who has taken this program to a new level. And done so btw, without elite talent. We havent started to recruit at an elite level until the last couple years, since hes been the head coach and we have started to win (that means watch out Husky fan, Chip Kelly with elite NFL athletes as juniors and seniors all over the field is going to be scary). Last years Natty team only had one player drafted, in the 4th round. So while its convinient to put this all on Uncle Phil, saying we are to an extent buying our place in the upper echelon of college football, I think if you look closer it has a lot to do with the Chipper. All things have remained the same at Oregon for the last 15 years or so except for him, hes gotten us over the hump.

      WTD

      • Artthiel

        I wrote that it was “mostly” due to Knight, not all due. Sark mentioned some other reasons, and I pointed that out. Oregon began dominating Washington before Kelly was here. The stadium upgrade was in 02, but in the pipeline before that. Bellotti recruited to it in the 90s, which he should. The system and the players and the success are products of it. 

        • Agreed Art, but again to an extent. 5-6-7 years ago we were kind of a laughing stock, a team that was all flash, but lacked substance. We didnt win a bowl game in my 4 years (didnt make it once and lost the defunct Seattle/Emerald bowl, Sun bowl and Holiday bowl). This was all happening 7-10 years after Uncle Phil got initially involved with the progam during the mid-90’s. Again, Chip has changed things completely and taken us to that next level. From a good program that had good to great teams every couple of years, to a potentially great program challenging for BCS bowl games yearly. And as far as us dominating you Husky’s before Kelly got here, you have to look into the mirror on that one. You had some awful, awful teams there for a while, a lot of teams dominated you Husky’s. Continuing with my theme, that probably had more to due with Keith Gilbertson and Tyrone Willingham than the “futility” in fundraising for a new stadium.

          WTD

      • Michp

        You are correct about Chip. Once all the cheating finally comes out and clarified that will be the end of that story. Cause running backs from Texas want to go to tree hugging Eugene ??? For installments of 25K , I guess it make more sense.

    • Art Thiel

      Good point, but a different one.  All schools with Nike apparel deals end up supporting, at least indirectly, the Ducks’ rise. Woodward’s point was about dwindling state support, and his reckless blurt. Conflicts of interests abound on college campuses. How about ESPN’s position as power broker in the conference affiliation mayhem? 

  • Soggyblogger

    Wow. Far out. Awesome, dude. I laughed out loud three or four times as I read this article. I was wondering if/when you would make the effort to write like that again after reading three or four of your barroom chats with friend Steve that you published for reasons I couldn’t fathom.

    You have restored my faith in you and this site. Write on. 

    • Artthiel

      As long as you love us, we’re here.
       

  • GoDucks

    “formerly arrogant Huskies.”

    Really?

    • Michp

      I’m still arrogant. :) Go Dawgs!

    • Artthiel

      0-12 does a lot for the rise of humility.

  • Sara Orr

    Phil Knight attended the University of Oregon as an athlete.  He graduated and continued on with his education at Stanford.  He is generous with the money he has earned.  Both Stanford and Oregon have received large funds from him.  HIs dedication to the schools that helped him reach his professional goals is to be admired.  Nike money does flow into the Athletic department at the University of Oregon as many Nike employees graduated from that school.  How Phil Knight chooses to spend his money is his choice.  Many colleges in America have facilities named after large money donors.  The fact that Oregon has a former athlete contributing to the school is something to be proud of.  

    • Artthiel

      Never said he did anything wrong. But he is the unappointed, unelected, unpaid king of the university. Which is good and bad. Ask anyone from feudal Europe over the last 1,500 years. 

  • Mssearch

    Art – Psst, Art…you spilled a little purple Kool Aid on your beard.  Phil Knight has supported his alma mater(s) as is his right, but he’s never caught, thrown, or shot a ball @ Autzen and or MattCourt…..swell that the Huskies dominated the rivalry in the early 90’s, but irrelevant to the current players who were infants at the time.  You sound very similar to the lost souls demonizing their plight as 99%ers, blaming others for one’s lack of achievement.

    • Artthiel

      Never said Knight did anything wrong. My point was that college ball is all about the money, and Oregon has it. So does Okla State with T Boone Pickens. Wouldn’t that be wonderfully underscored if they met in the BCS title game? 

  • Chris

    I was a student at the UO in the early 80s.  During my 4 years in Eugene the football team won a total of 14 games, finishing 9th in the conference standing twice.  In those days sports writers from the big cities would write about how Oregon and Oregon State didn’t belong in the Pac-10, that they should leave for the WAC, because they simply were never going to be able to compete with the likes of Washington, USC and the other big schools.

    There’s an old saying in military circles about how generals from the winning side are always fighting the next war with their winning strategy from the previous war, and that losing generals have to come up with something new for the next war…or they’ll continue being the losing generals.

    With that analogy in mind, here in the NW it’s fairly clear that the Huskies have been stuck in 1991 for quite a while.  And it’s also clear that the Ducks have NOT been stuck there.  As long as Husky fans are complaining about Phil Knight, I guess that means the Ducks are winning.  Ouch!! 

    • Arttthiel

      Absolutely true that the Huskies were stuck in the 90s, from tactics to facilities. They’re playing catch-up. As a former Huskies coach once said, scoreboard, baby. But now they appear, with the investment in coaches and facilities, to be joining the arms race. 

  • Michp

    Phil Knight owns Oregon and should not be long till we get the official Phil Knight U name change. Oregun has no tradition so they market with laughable uniforms. Enjoy your 15 seconds of fame Oregun, soon you will be back where you belong…chasing owls in trees. Washington has decades and decades of tradition and will never sell out to market a sneaker company. Go Dawgs!

  • Cgerv25

    Great article Art, you nailed as you usually do!

  • #7inarow

    Huck the Fuskies