Cats close out 05 with 2OT thriller

The Pac-10 season may be just two games old, but the league has probably seen their game of the year. Arizona and Washington were so evenly matched that they needed an extra 10 minutes to decide the contest between two of the conference's elite teams. A late free throw by Kirk Walters gave the Wildcats a 96-95 double overtime win over the Huskies.

"Both teams battled so hard," Lute Olson said on 1290 radio after the game.

Brandon Roy and Hassan Adams had career highs in scoring, but it was the junior big man who decided the game late. Tied in the final seconds of double overtime, the Cats milked the clock and were forced to go with a J.P. Prince runner with the shot clock running out.

The shot banked off the glass, rattled in and out before being tipped by Walters. The tip-in missed but Walters grabbed the loose ball and was fouled on his next shot attempt. Walters made his first free throw, but missed the second.

The Huskies rebounded the miss with under five seconds to play and got the ball to Ryan Appleby. The transfer guard took an indirect path down court and unsuccessfully took an off balanced 40-footer as time expired.

Roy had his second consecutive 35-point contest, but it was his last second heroics that stood out. Roy ended regulation and overtime with game-tying three pointers.

With seconds left Roy drained a three from the top of the key. Arizona had a chance to get the final shot, but Mustafa Shakur over penetrated and by the time he kicked out to Adams, time had run out.

Roy's three-pointer at the end of the first overtime was just spectacular. Roy raced up the court, was split a double team and threw up an off balanced shot at time expired.

"Brandon Roy was amazing," Olson said.

As good as Roy was, Adams was his equal. The Wildcat senior scored 32 points, eight coming after regulation, including back-to-back threes in the first overtime.

"Hassan Adams were not going to let us lose," said Olson.

True freshman Marcus Williams returned to his hometown and did not disappoint. The former prep standout from Seattle's Roosevelt High School had 16 points, nine boards and made a number of clutch shots when other Wildcats were cold.

"I am so proud of Marcus Williams," said Olson. "There were times he was taking the tough shot for us."

The Wildcats were dominated on the glass, but made up for it by taking care of the ball. Arizona committed just 11 turnovers in 50 minutes of play.

Ryan Appleby's four first half three pointers, the fourth with less than five seconds in the half, propelled the Huskies to a 13-point lead at the intermission. The Huskies took advantage of atrocious three-point shooting a nine rebound advantage on the glass.

After making just one first half three, one might think that the Cats would abandon the outside shot in the second half, but instead they kept shooting. The Cats hit four of their first five threes in the half and cut the lead to seven in the second frame's first five minutes.

Arizona continued to chip away at the Washington lead and finally took the lead with 3:53 to play when Mustafa Shakur hit a pair of free throws. Arizona would lead by as many as seven in the final minutes but missed free throws and the hot shooting of Roy evened things up at the end of regulation.

The win snapped Washington's NCAA high 32-game home winning streak.

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