Isaiah Thomas joined some exclusive company with his game-winning shot.
Isaiah Thomas drained the game-winning shot with no time on the clock against Arizona last Saturday, giving Washington a 77-75 overtime victory, the Pac-10 tournament title and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Before Thomas, who was the last Husky player to score a game-winning basket with 0:00 showing on the clock?
Since the Pacific 10 Conference came into existence in 1978, five Washington players (as far as we can determine) have hit a game winner as time expired, either in regulation play or in overtime. Before Thomas did it against the Wildcats, the last to do it was Mark Sanford on March 10, 1995, in a 74-73 overtime win over California (Sanford slipped through the Bears defense and scored on a layup).
The last Husky to win a game with a shot similar to the one Thomas made – an 18-foot jumper — was Brad Watson, who beat California on Jan. 29, 1983, with a 19-foot jumper and 0:00 remaining.
And until Thomas made that remarkable shot, the most audacious basket in relatively recent UW basketball history had to be Bob Fronk’s 25-footer that beat UCLA on Feb. 23, 1980, at Pauley Pavilion. Fronk’s bomb gave the Huskies their first win in the 15-year history of the facility.
In the Pac-10 era, Washington has won nearly 90 times in games decided by three or fewer points. Many of those wins came as the result of free throws, which we didn’t count as “buzzer beaters.”
The following chart shows Washington’s “buzzer beaters” inside the final 12 seconds (although 12 seconds isn’t technically a buzzer beater) since the Pac-10 was formed in 1978.
|1980||Feb. 23||Bob Fronk||at UCLA||25-foot jumper||0.0||UW 72-70|
|1982||Feb. 13||Steve Burks||at Stanford||15-foot jumper||0.0||UW 53-52|
|1983||Jan. 29||Brad Watson||vs. Cal||19-foot jumper||0.0||UW 58-57|
|1995||March 9||Mark Sanford||vs. Cal||Layup||0.0||UW 74-73 (OT)|
|2011||March 12||Isaiah Thomas||vs. Arizona||18-foot jumper||0.0||UW 59-57 (OT)|
|2000||Jan. 29||Senque Carey||at Cal||20-foot jumper||1.1||UW 54-52|
|2001||March 10||Michael Johnson||vs. UCLA||3-point-jumper||1.1||UW 96-94|
|2010||March 18||Quincy Pondexter||vs. Marq.||Running bank||1.7||UW 80-78|
|1982||Jan. 2||Alvin Vaughn||vs. USC||12-foot jumper||2.0||UW 73-72 (OT)|
|1986||March 1||Al Moscatel||at ASU||25-foot jumper||2.0||UW 64-62|
|1992||Jan. 16||Rich Manning||vs. Arizona||17-foot jumper||2.0||UW 62-60|
|1997||Dec. 3||Todd MacCulloch||vs. Portland||Tip-in||2.0||UW 70-68|
|1979||Feb. 22||Stan Walker||vs. UCLA||17-foot jumper||3.0||UW 69-68|
|2000||Dec. 16||Greg Clark||at Fla. Int.||13-foot jumper||3.0||UW 63-61|
|1997||Jan. 11||Todd MacCulloch||vs. Oregon||4-foot jumper||4.0||UW 78-77|
|2001||Dec. 22||Michael Johnson||vs. Clemson||8-foot jumper||4.0||UW 77-76 (OT)|
|2009||Jan. 8||Jon Brockman||vs. Stanford||Putback||5.0||UW 84-83|
|2001||Jan. 18||Curtis Allen||at Oregon||Layup||6.0||UW 72-71 (OT)|
|1978||Dec. 18||Steve Matzen||vs. Army||10-foot jumper||7.0||UW 68-67|
|1986||Jan. 4||Al Moscatel||at Stanford||20-foot jumper||7.0||UW 70-69|
|1987||March 1||Chris Welp||vs. OSU||10-foot hook||7.0||UW 63-61|
|1998||March 12||Deon Luten||vs. Xavier||17-foot jumper||11.2||UW 69-68|
The Rotations weekly schedule:
Monday: That Was The Week That Was A snarky, day-by-day review of the week just ended.
Tuesday: Wayback Machine Sports historian David Eskenazis deep dive into local sports history, replete with photo eye candy.
Wednesday: Nobody Asks But Us We ask, and answer, fun and quirky questions nobody else is asking.
Thursday: Water Cooler Cool Art Thiel takes on the weekend for the benefit of the more casual fan.
Friday: Top 5 List The alpha and omega of Northwest sports, at least as far as were concerned.