Arizona lost to Washington on Saturday and WildcatAuthority.com takes a closer look.
fell in the Pac-10 Tournament championship game in thrilling fashion, as Washington
defeated UA 77-75. It took a couple of clutch plays by UW to pull off the victory, but in the end, the Huskies hit one too many big shots for the Wildcats to handle.
The loss doesn't really hurt Arizona too much. The Wildcats may drop a seed or two because of the defeat, but it shouldn't cause a dramatic drop. UA had multiple opportunities to win on Saturday, but couldn't capitalize in key situations on either end of the floor down the stretch.
Arizona had no answer for Isaiah Thomas in the first half, but slowed him down quite a bit in the second. Unfortunately, the Huskies' point guard came back to bite the Wildcats at the end of overtime by hitting quite possibly the most clutch shot in Pac-10 Tournament history.
With the shot clock off and the game tied at 75, Thomas held the ball for one final chance at victory. UA guard Lamont Jones did all he could on Thomas, staying with him every step of the way. Thomas drove left and pulled up with a little over one second left on the clock and Jones' hand in his face.
The junior point guard took a fade-away from 18 feet and hit nothing but the bottom of the net to give Washington the two point victory and the conference tournament championship.
Thomas finished with 28 points, seven assists, five assists and two steals.
Derrick Williams had an outstanding performance for UA. The sophomore finished with 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting and dominated the glass with 11 rebounds. He was a bit shaky from the free throw line, connecting on only eight out of 13 attempts from the charity stripe, but Williams did all he could to put Arizona in a position to win.
Kevin Parrom came through with a clutch three down the stretch that looked like it was going to send the game to double-overtime (Thomas prevented that from happening obviously). The sophomore swingman finished with 12 points and provided a spark in the second half, but he made a defensive mistake late in the second half
With the clock winding down and UA held a three-point lead, Parrom was on UW swingman C.J. Wilcox, but collapsed on Thomas as the Huskies' point guard drove to the hoop, leaving Wilcox open in the corner for the game-tying three. The freshman drilled the shot that ultimately sent the game to overtime and allowed Washington to eventually pull off the victory.
Outside of Williams performance in the paint, Washington really handled the Wildcats on the boards. The Huskies out-rebounded UA 37-27 and recovered 13 of those 37 rebounds on the offensive end of the floor. Arizona's inability to keep UW off the boards really prevented the Wildcats from winning the contest.
UA had every opportunity to come away with the victory on Saturday, but just couldn't get the job done. Arizona shot 16 more free throws than Washington, but still only went 20-for-30 from the charity stripe. The Wildcats' inability to capitalize on free throw shooting ultimately cost them in the end.
The loss prevents Arizona from winning its first conference tournament championship since 2002. It will also likely prevent the Wildcats from being a four seed in the big dance, but they should still have a favorable position heading into the NCAA Tournament.