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Pacific Life Pac-10 tournament: Isaiah Thomas' heroics lift Washington to second consecutive title

March 12, 2011 |  5:48 pm

In a performance that will go down in Washington lore, point guard Isaiah Thomas buried a fadeaway jumper as the buzzer expired in overtime to lift the third-seeded Huskies to a 77-75 victory over top-seeded Arizona on Saturday at Staples Center in the Pacific Life Pac-10 tournament championship.

Thomas was mobbed by teammates at midcourt after burying his 17-footer and then hoisted on their shoulders after a heroic performance in which he scored 28 points on 10-for-16 shooting and played all 45 minutes. It was Washington's second consecutive Pac-10 tournament title.

The Huskies needed Thomas to play every second because they were without point guards Abdul Gaddy (injury) and Venoy Overton (suspension). Thomas was showing clear signs of fatigue as he dribbled near midcourt with about three minutes remaining in regulation, his chest heaving and his breathing labored.

Washington (23-10) needed a late rally just to force overtime. Washington's C.J. Wilcox made it happen when he took a pass from Thomas in the corner and buried a three-pointer to tie the score at 68-68 with 5.7 seconds left in regulation.

Arizona guard Lamont Jones missed a three-pointer at the regulation buzzer. The Wildcats had held a 66-62 lead with 26 seconds left after a three-point play by Derrick Williams.

But a three-pointer by Washington's Terrence Ross made it a one-point game, and after Jones made two free throws for Arizona, the stage was set for Wilcox's shot.

Williams had 24 points for Arizona (27-7).

We'll have more later at www.latimes.com/sports.

-- Ben Bolch

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