Go back to December when he was benched for two games and was struggling to find a role. Move ahead to Saturday when he hit one of the biggest shots in school history.
The Renton native, on a rebound from a blocked shot, had the wherewithal to step back and as time expired hit a game-winning 3-pointer for a 78-75 win to upset to No. 9 Arizona on Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Picked to finish 10th in the conference, the Huskies (17-6, 7-3 Pac-12) are very much in the hunt for a NCAA Tournament bid.
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“I saw it,” said Green, who scored 14 points and went 4-for-5 from 3. “And was like, ‘Oh. That’s good.’ as soon as I let it go.’”
Green’s buzzer-beating shot led to hundreds of fans pouring onto the court in celebration. Huskies coach Mike Hopkins said it was so loud, he couldn’t hear himself speak when he did a post-game interview with the Pac-12 Network.
The Huskies’ most pivotal shot of the year was a bi-product of Green knowing where to be on the floor.
Freshman guard Jaylen Nowell had his initially shot swatted by Arizona star forward Deandre Ayton. The ball, however, made its way to Green and he fired off a shot that was all net.
“Yeah, I haven’t had time to process it,” Green said of the biggest shot of his Huskies’ career. “This is something that doesn’t happen to everybody.”
Arizona and Washington’s thrilling finish was in the making about midway through the second half.
The Wildcats, after Ayton hit a jumper, tied the game at 56-56 with 8:59 left. His shot was pivotal considering the Wildcats hadn’t led for even a second.
UW responded when point guard and Tacoma native David Crisp, as the shot clock dwindled, banked in a 3-pointer for a 59-56 lead with 8:28 left. Crisp had 16 points and two assists.
Less than a minute later, Nowell hit what was initially a stepback 3-pointer for a 62-58 lead. A review showed the shot was actually a 2-pointer. Arizona responded when Parker Jackson-Cartwright got the layup and free throw for a 61-61 tie with 7:05 left.
Ayton finally gave his team the lead when he drained a jumper with 6:23 left for a 63-62 edge.
But to no great surprise, it was brief after Crisp scored to put UW up 64-63 less than a minute later.
A near 13-point underdog, the Huskies got hot early in the second half to take a 46-32 lead when Nowell banked a 3-pointer from the wing with 17:39 left.
UW forced Arizona into committing three turnovers on its first four possession. Those miscues opened the door for the Huskies to open the half with an 11-4 run amplified by Nowell’s 3. His night ended with 14 points.
Eventually, the Wildcats found their shot. They went 7 of 9 and once Seattle native Allonzo Trier scored inside, it cut the lead to 49-42 with 13:49 left.
Hopkins called a timeout but the Huskies missed another shot and the Wildcats scored on the next possession.
The sizable contingent of Arizona fans broke out a “U-of-A!” chant after bucket.
“Like coach said, they’re a great team,” Dickerson said. “Good teams make runs. That’s what happens. It’s basketball. They went on a run ... they came back but we stuck it out.”
Arizona’s comeback was real when Ayton blocked a shot, the Wildcats got into transition. Trier flew down the floor, scored and drew a foul in the process.
His free throw pushed Arizona’s run to 13-1 while trimming the UW lead to 50-49 with 11:57 remaining.
It was a bit of a jarring realization compared to how the Huskies commanded the game in the opening stages. UW built an early lead and never let up in the first half.
The Huskies, after a missed shot, grabbed the offensive rebound and fed Thybulle for a dunk off the wing in the middle of traffic for a 30-22 lead with 5:29 left in the first half.
His dunk added extra power to an already electric crowd inside The Triple A. It only got louder when Dickerson backed down Wildcats center Dusan Ristic and floated a shot over him and Ayton’s fingers for a 35-26 edge with less than two minutes left.
Even if it wasn’t a game against a Top 10 team, emotions ran high early at Hec Edmundson Pavilion with the return of Lorenzo Romar.
Romar coached the Huskies for 15 seasons. A former UW player, he won 298 games and reached the NCAA Tournament six times. The three-time Pac-10/12 Coach of the Year was fired last March after the team finished 9-22 and won two Pac-12 games.
The Dawg Pack, clad in black shirts that read “Tougher Together,” held signs showing appreciation for Romar’s time at UW. One of those signs was two-sided. The front read “Romar” with a heart in place of the “O” while the back had “Forever A Husky.”
Arizona was already the floor for warmups when Romar, surrounded by the rest of the Wildcats’ coaching staff, walked out to a standing ovation. Romar barely reached mid-court before fans started chanting his name repeatedly until he made his way to the bench. Sophomore guard Carlos Johnson walked across and gave his old coach a long hug.
Johnson was followed by Huskies assistants Cameron Dollar and Will Conroy, who played for Romar. Mike Hopkins and Romar, who both grew up in Southern California, also shared a moment.
UW played a pre-game video on the scoreboard highlighting his time with the Huskies. After the video ended, a graphic was displayed that read “Welcome Back Coach Lorenzo Romar.”
Romar’s return while facing a Top 10 team comes in what was already an active week. The Huskies opened by beating in-state rival Washington State in a blowout victory and on Thursday, they upset No. 25 Arizona State.
The Huskies were down by 3 when Dickerson, who had a game-high 25 points and seven rebounds, went up for a shot but was denied.
Crisp grabbed the rebound and as he dribbled to draw in the defense, he found Green for an open 3 to tie the game with 1:19 left.
Arizona went back to Ayton who ran out of room and stepped out of bounds on his way to the rim.
Seconds later, Dickerson scored on a putback for a 75-73 lead with 40.8 seconds left.
The Wildcats returned to Ayton who scored but missed the go-ahead free throw with 21 seconds left.
As Hopkins has done all year, he called a play for Nowell. The star freshman, who has proven to be this team’s closer, went inside only to have his offering turned back by Ayton.
Overtime appeared likely until Green hit the shot that shook Montlake.
Hopkins walked into his post-game press conference and said to reporters, “any questions?”
A reporter asked Hopkins what his immediate response was upon seeing the shot.
Hopkins, with a smile on his face, said it was “Divine intervention.”