Pac-10 Tournament 2011: Washington Wins Pac-10 Title On Thomas' Buzzer-Beater

The Washington Huskies' 2011 Pac-10 Tournament run ended on a high note with a dramatic 77-75 win against the Arizona Wildcats in overtime. With an automatic bid secured, the Huskies await Selection Sunday with an entirely different mindset. For the game thread, visit SBN's UW Dawg Pound.

  • Live
13 Total Updates since March 10, 2011
  • Important 7
  • Updates 13
  • All Updates 13

Pac-10 Tournament 2011: Washington 'Punished' Arizona On The Boards Before Thomas Finished Them Off


Photo by Craig Bennett/112575 Media.

Just as SBN Seattle's own Brian Floyd wrote earlier, Isaiah Thomas put the Washington Huskies on his back and carried them to the Pac-10 title and capped it with an absolutely "cold blooded" buzzer-beating game-winning shot to cap off what may be remembered as among the gutsiest performances in Pac-10 Tournament history.

Video via @Jose3030.

This was unquestionably Thomas' night and although he plans to get some well-deserved rest on the plane ride back home, that final moment is not something that requires much explanation as Floyd described.

Gus Johnson Adds Cold Blooded To Legendary List Of Calls After Isaiah Thomas Buzzer Beater - The Daily Drip - SB Nation Seattle
No need for hyperbole or a long-winded call, just "Uhhhh ... AHHHHHHHH." It may not be elegant, but it described the moment perfectly using nothing but grunts. And on Saturday, with Gus on the call, we saw another instant classic between Arizona and Washington. And what better ending for Washington fans than Isaiah Thomas hitting a step-back jumper for the win as Gus screams in celebration.

But as hard fought as that game was, a large part of what put the Huskies in position to have a game-winning shot opportunity was their rebounding down the stretch in regulation and throughout overtime. Although they finished the Pac-10 regular season as the best defensive rebounding team by percentage, Mike Schmitz of Arizona Desert Swarm expressed concerns about their interior defense overall prior to the game and Coach Jay Will was none too pleased with it afterward.

...during this critical time of game we were being punished on the boards. I don't know if Coach Miller has something personal against Jesse Perry or if he's loyal to Jamelle Horne, because we're being slaughtered on the boards with the ineffective Horne on the floor. Derrick Williams can definitely use some help rebounding, Perry provides that relief.

And indeed, rebounding was a decisive factor and a problem for the Wildcats that got increasingly worse over the course of the game - although the Huskies only held a six percent advantage in the first half, that ballooned to a 15 percent advantage in the second half, and in overtime the Huskies held the Wildcats without an offensive rebound while retrieving two of their three misses.

For the game, the Huskies won the rebounding battle 39 percent to 23 percent, which was undoubtedly their most significant advantage.



However, blaming the post play for the poor rebounding might be unfair - after that TV timeout with 2:56 left in regulation, Washington took one layup, five jumpers, and eight threes. So with that many perimeter shots, it's not that surprising that during that critical period of the game it was the guards who got all three of the Huskies' offensive rebounds.

Less surprising is that it was Isaiah Thomas who got both of his offensive rebounds in that time period, while also hitting a three, setting up those two threes at the end of regulation and hitting the game-winning shot.

Like Gus said: cold blooded.

Photo by Craig Bennett/112575 Media.


Pac-10 Tournament 2011 Championship: Isaiah Thomas' Buzzer-Beating Jumper Lifts UW To Pac-10 Title


In my estimation, Seattle native Nate Robinson best summed up Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas' buzzer-beating, dream-ending, off-balance jumper to win the Pac-10 Title 77-75 over Arizona best.

I have no better words than that.

After a season filled with so much frustration, so much unmet potential, and - just last Thursday night at halftime - perhaps even doubts about whether this team would be in the tournament, that's all that moment could possibly be.

Pure elation.

There's not even any need to address those haters who questioned Thomas' basketball and leadership ability - that, in general, is what haters do. But when it mattered most, the facts should speak for themselves: 28 points on 10-for-16 shooting, seven assists, five rebounds, two steals in 45 minutes...and, most importantly, game-winning shot.

Arizona's Derrick Williams was outstanding in his own right with 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting and 11 rebounds and general unstoppability for most of the game. The loss does not diminish the fact that he is still one of the most talented players in the nation.

Thankfully, we get to see more of these teams in the tournament.

The Huskies just enter with post-season crunch-time bragging rights for the second year in a row.

pac10conference Live 2011-03-12 20:47:00 (via pac10conference)


Pac-10 Tournament 2011 Championship: Washington, Arizona Head To Overtime For First Time In Tournament History


Seattle University women's basketball assistant coach and Arizona alum summed up what sent this game into overtime tied at 68 perfectly.

With less than 10 seconds left and Arizona up three, Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas drove left and the defender on Terrence Ross dropped off to help leaving the rapidly emerging freshman scorer open for a game-tying three to send the game into overtime.

It is the first time in tournament history that a championship game has gone into overtime.

For the Huskies though, trouble looms: both Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Aziz N'Diaye carried four fouls with them into overtime.

Meanwhile, Arizona's Derrick Williams is proving that more than four defenders are required to hold him while UW's Isaiah Thomas set up 3-pointers from and hit a three to contribute to the overtime effort.


UW Vs. Oregon Final Score: Huskies Beat Ducks 69-51, Thomas Ties Tournament Record

For Washington Huskies fans, tonight's game against the Oregon Ducks in the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament semifinals might have felt frustratingly familiar.

After briefly mounting a double digit lead, UW's defensive focus that had been so strong in the first half wavered and the lead dwindled to as little as four points.

Unfortunately, the grueling schedule of the conference tournament seemed to catch up to the Ducks as their shots started to clank off the front rim and failed to sustain any momentum during the Huskies' lapse.

Then with 3:58 left, C.J. Wilcox was fouled in the act of hitting a 3-pointer from the corner and hit the ensuing free throw to put the Huskies up 61-47 to seemingly end whatever hopes Oregon had for a comeback.

Although this seems to be a return to concerns earlier in the season about putting together consistent 40 minute performances, witnessing a performance that resembles anything close to what we saw from the Huskies earlier this season has to be somewhat refreshing for Huskies fans.

As a nice touch to symbolize how important UW guard Isaiah Thomas is to this team even without scoring, he tied the Pac-10 tournament record for assists with 12 to go along with 10 points on a poor shooting night. With Thomas cold from the field, underclassmen Wilcox and Terrence Ross stepped up to combine for 21 points on 10-for-21 shooting, with Ross punctuating the win with a beautiful around-the-back dribble and dunk late in the game.

Ross also continued to show signs of growth with three assists and a steal that came from good help position and a nice read of a pass through a small gap in the defense. Darnell Gant finished one bucket shy of a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds and eight points. Also noteworthy is that after grabbing only one rebound in the first half, Matthew Bryan-Amaning got big with six in the second half.

Leading Oregon's second half effort was Joevan Catron, who finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. But after picking up his fourth foul with 8:21 left in the game and the Ducks down five, the Huskies went on an 8 to 2 run that gave them enough of a cushion to advance to the Pac-10 Tournament championship game against Arizona tomorrow afternoon and solidify their place in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.


Washington Basketball: Huskies Face An Oregon Ducks Team Hungry For A Chance At Postseason Play

Continuing a rollercoaster 2010-11 season, coming back to beat the rival Washington State Cougars and then drawing the seventh-seeded Oregon Ducks had to seem like an almost jarring shift in fortunes for the the Washington Huskies.

At first glance, this not only seems like an opportunity for UW to avenge one a 81-76 road loss to the UO - easily one of this season's lowest points - but also like a much easier path to the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament championship game and a shot at redeeming themselves and the season with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

However, beating the Ducks isn't necessarily a given - SBN's Addicted To Quack claims that they're playing some of their best basketball of the season right now and that as much as the Huskies might be motivated to rebuild their confidence heading into the tournament the Ducks are motivated by a chance to be rewarded for their improvement over the course of the season with a trip to the CBI or a shot at the automatic bid themselves.

Ducks need to win tonight to ensure good news on Sunday - Addicted To Quack
I think the Ducks are an attractive team for the CBI. After starting out slow, they've played some stretches of very good basketball, are a fun team to watch, and are a team that is on the upswing after two seasons of terrible performances. Duck fans are excited about the direction of the team, and fan interest will be high. On top of that, the Oregon athletic department is willing to buy their way into the CBI, which is just as important as having a good record. Add the new arena on top of that, and you've got a team with a lot going for it. While the Ducks could sneak into the postseason without a win tonight, beating the Huskies would go a long ways towards continuing the season.

Even shorthanded, the Huskies should be considered the more talented of these two teams. But if we've learned anything from this season is that their lapses in focus that have chipped away at their confidence can lead them to drop games that they should win.

So UW coach Lorenzo Romar's quote that The News Tribune's Don Ruiz posted on his blog about the game isn't really just a empty coachspeak - it's really actually a substantive key to this game for the Huskies.

UW Huskies Insider - " Another rival awaits Huskies today: Oregon The News Tribune Blogs, Tacoma, WA
"They're a tough team to play against," Romar said. "That is a true team in every sense of the word. They play well together. They play hard. They play with a lot of intensity. It's going to be a tough ballgame for us. We need to come ready to play, because I know they will."

Just like the WSU game last night, this game isn't really about deep analysis or statistical advantages - as fluffy as it sounds, it really is about UW's mental approach and ability to maintain focus in their quest for the tournament.


Washington Basketball: Huskies Finally Rose To The Occasion In Important 89-87 Win Over WSU

There were obviously a number of reasons why the Washington Huskies' 89-87 win over Washington State last night was important.

First, they avoided a three-game sweep to their cross-state rival, which would only have intensified the bitter taste of a disappointing season to go along with the anxiety of sitting around wondering about their fate come Selection Sunday.

Second, the win no doubt strengthens their chances for a tournament bid and possibly even a half-reasonable seed on Selection Sunday. A loss would have definitely cast a shadow of doubt over that and since it didn't happen we won't bother to examine the magnitude of that shadow.

But third, with all of that on the line making this arguably the most important game of their season, this team just needed to know they could rise to the occasion. And they did.

UW overcomes Thompson's 43 points for WSU | Northwest News - The News Tribune
The 5-foot-9 All-Pac-10 performer shredded the WSU zone with the dribble, getting under the guards, drawing bigs and serving Matthew Bryan-Amaning bucket after bucket. The 6-9 Amaning, who had 20 points combined in the first two games, put in 16, complementing the outside shooting of freshmen Terrence Ross (17) and C.J. Wilcox (16).

That they did so without the services of guard Venoy Overton, who's serving a suspension, makes this easily the strongest win of the season, all RPI resume-blather aside, especially given Klay Thompson's outburst described by Brian Floyd.

Pac-10 Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Klay Thompson Sets Pac-10 Record, Washington Moves On - SB Nation Seattle
Klay Thompson gave it all he could for the Washington State Cougars on Thursday night, but the Washington Huskies had just enough in the tank to squeak by in an 89-87 win at Staples Center. Thompson set a new Pac-10 Tournament scoring record, finishing with 43 of the Cougars 89 points.

They talked about how they needed to come together earlier in the week and they managed to do so with the odds against them from the start, standing more strongly against them after Matthew Bryan-Amaning got in early foul trouble, and seemingly continued to swing out of their favor with Thompson on fire.

And although people will continue to inexplicably question point guard Isaiah Thomas, his skill as a lead ball handler, his leadership abilities, and his general worthiness of a D1 scholarship, he stepped up as big as anyone on a night when the team needed their best from a shortened rotation.

Husky Men's Basketball Blog | Romar: "We needed this to feel good about ourselves" | Seattle Times Newspaper
And finally, Isaiah Thomas was simply amazing. He never left the floor, playing 40 minutes for the first time in his career. Thomas led UW with 21 points and 11 assists, which was one shy of the tournament record.

Although a loss to seven seed Oregon would unquestionably be something of a letdown, last night's game has to restore some measure of confidence to a team that was sorely lacking it in words, body language, and action on the court as of late.


Washington Basketball: Justin Holiday Cleared To Play After Concussion Symptoms From USC Game

Washington Huskies forward Justin Holiday has been cleared to play tonight after exhibiting concussion symptoms from a collision with USC post Alex Stepheson, as posted on UW's Facebook page.

Good news for the...
Good news for the Huskies as Justin Holiday has been cleared to play tonight against WSU. He and his teammates looked sharp today at shootaround.

After being mired in so much bad news, this is at least a brief moment of relief and there's probably little need to explain the implications of this announcement.

First, with guard Venoy Overton already suspended for the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament, the Huskies couldn't afford to lose another player at the top of their rotation.

Second, Holiday is a key defender who will be responsible for stopping Washington State star Klay Thompson tonight, to the extent possible.

Third, as one of the team's better 3-point shooters (39.2 percent) a team that is struggling to hit shots absolutely needs as many of their top shooters on the floor as possible.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.