Overton had started the three previous games since point guard Abdul Gaddy went down with a season-ending knee injury.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar said the switch was a matter of matchups.
"Gutierrez usually guards Isaiah," he said. "He’s really good. Now Isaiah is fine too, but we felt that if we went with someone bigger he would guard someone bigger. He did."
That’s exactly what happened as Thomas broke through for 18 points in the first half – the most by any Husky in a half this season. In the second half, Montgomery took Brandon Smith off of Thomas in favor of Gutierrez.
However, Montgomery said he wasn’t surprised by the lineup change and didn’t see it as relevant to the way the game played out.
“We felt like they we were going to play pick-and-rolls, and Brandon has been pretty good,” Montgomery said. “We can’t ask Jorge to do everything. … We just didn’t do a very good job off of pick-and-rolls. Jorge would have gotten screened just like Brandon would have gotten screened.”
Meanwhile, Romar wasn't willing to say if he would keep this lineup together for Arizona on Thursday.
"We could," he said. "(Against) Oregon-Oregon State we went with Venoy because they were a pressing team. Abdul was out, and (that was) the first time we were playing without Abdul, we wanted to make sure we had ball-handelers out there against so much pressure. So we went that way. And tonight, with what we talked about – trying to get a mismatch offensively somehow – we went this way. So we’ll see. We haven’t seen Arizona yet, we haven’t prepared a scout for them. So we’re not sure exactly what we’ll do."