Huskies Insider Blog

Huskies beat Cats, 1.5 games up in Pac-10

The win moved 20th-ranked Washington (14-4 overall, 6-1 Pac-10) a game-and-a-half ahead of Arizona (15-4, 4-2), which is in a second-place tie with UCLA.

“We’re pretty pleased,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We were able to come out and beat a good basketball team out there in Arizona. What I liked a lot about it was that it was a total team effort. It took a total team effort to defend Derrick Williams and the rest of them. It took a team effort on offense: I thought we shared the basketball.”

Both of the Pac-10 player-of-the-year candidates were dazzling: Isaiah Thomas, 22 points, 10 assists, six rebounds. Derrick Williams, 22 points, 11 rebounds.

2:49 If Holiday's three wasn't the dagger, Terrence Ross' probably was. UW up, 78-65.

3:52 UW, 74-63, as Justin Holiday nails a three -- the back-breaker? -- on Thomas's seventh assist of the night.

6:43: UW, 65-56.

7:42 Overton scores back-to-back baskets, including a hope-and-a-prayer strong drive through the key and off the backboard. UW, 65-56.

10:04 Derrick Williams goes to bench with his fourth personal. UW, 61-54. (And returns 15 seconds later.)

11:15 Off-the-charts hustle play by Thomas, throwing himself halfway down the tunnel to save a ball back inbounds. The Huskies recovered it, and passed to Darnell Gant, who drilled a 3, putting UW up, 59-50.

15:10 I think this has been an exceptionally well-officiated game for the Pac-10. However, quite an oddity just now. MBA gets fouled while shooting. However, Thomas goes to the line and takes a foul shot and misses. Then UW points out he wasn't the fouled guy. After conference between all officials and coaches, MBA is sent to the line for two shots ... and hits them both.

It will be fascinating to see how that single point might play out down the stretch.

2nd/15:39 UW, 45-44.

2nd/16:03 Arizona noses ahead, 44-43. First lead since 8-6.

Second half ... has tipped off.

Halftime: UW, 36-31. Thomas and Holiday have 12 each. Thomas four assists. Gant and N'Diaye with four rebounds each.

Arizona led by Solomon Hill, who has eight points. Williams is one of three Wildcats with six points.

UW shooting 44.8 percent, Arizona 33.3. Wildcats up, 21-18, on the boards.

Dawg Pack debuts new halftime cheer: the rollercoaster. Loud and goofy ... about all you could ask.

1st/3:13: UW, 30-22. Huskies briefly pushed lead to 10-points -- 30-20 -- on a Thomas-to-Overton ally-oop.

1st/7:56 UW, 20-16. Holiday has nine and Thomas seven for UW.

Williams only two for Arizona (though six rebounds). Hill leads UA with four.

1st/8:42: UW 20, UA 13.

1st/11:58: Comes back a bit as Kevin Parrom hits a three. Then Thomas is followed while taking a distant three, but missed all three free throws. UW, 13-11.

1st/13:15: Little run by the Huskies: Thomas 3, Holiday midcourt steal and finish, Thomas 2 just inside the line. UW, 13-8.

1st/15:56: Arizona, 8-6. Crowd into it. Especially when Isaiah Thomas earned one of his better assists of the season: a driving finger-roll ally-oop that MBA finished with a dunk.

Tipoff: The game has begun.

Lineups: The lineups have just been released and Scott Suggs will get his first start at Hec Ed and the second of his college career. The other Husky starters are the usuals: Thomas, Holiday, MBA and N'Diaye.

Arizona's starters are Lamont Jones, Kyle Fogg, Derrick Williams, Jesse Perry and Solomon Hill.

70 minutes till tip: Most members of both teams are out warming up. Wildcats in navy, Huskies in white.

110 minutes till tip: I just arrived at Hec Ed and found that two Alaska Airlines Arena logos are on the court. (See post below.) They're also running videos on the scoreboard above with the words "Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion" set against a blue sky.)

Meanwhile, the newly-named arena will debut with what promises to be a dazzling game: Arizona at UW, with the Pac-10 lead going to the winner.

Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. The game will be on FSN and 950-AM, while we'll have pregame, in-game and postgame news, updates and reaction here and on our Twitter page: twitter/donruiztnt. As always, your comments are encouraged.