SEATTLE – Isaiah Thomas did a little of everything again, scoring 22 points, handing out 10 assists and grabbing six rebounds, and No. 20 Washington took sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 with a 85-68 win over Arizona on Thursday night.
Coming off perhaps the best game of his career at California where Thomas scored 27 points and had 13 assists, the Huskies diminutive guard was at it again. He made 7 of 12 shots and posted his sixth straight game with at least seven assists.
Justin Holiday also scored 22 points for the Huskies (14-4, 6-1), including a 3-pointer in the closing seconds for Thomas' 10th assist.
Derrick Williams led Arizona (15-4, 4-2) with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but was saddled with foul trouble for most of the final 10 minutes. Williams didn't score the final 6:42.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 14 of his 18 in the second half, 10 of those coming in the first 5:08 of the half. Bryan-Amaning also grabbed seven rebounds as the Huskies held a 41-35 advantage on the boards.
But the star was Thomas, who amazingly committed just one turnover. And he'll wake up with plenty of floor burns to mark his effort.
The Huskies' 5-foot-9 leader was everywhere, diving out of bounds to save loose balls or scrambling on the ground for a steal. And he continues to display an ability to run the Huskies attack after teammate and starting point guard Abdul Gaddy was lost for the season to a torn ACL in the first week of January.
Thomas had his highlight moments, not many better than his two one-handed lob passes to Bryan-Amaning and Venoy Overton for dunks in the first half.
But no highlight for Thomas was better than his headfirst leap out of bounds to save a loose ball midway through the second half.
Darnell Gant threw an awful pass for Aziz N'Diaye in the post that was intercepted. Arizona raced into front court but a hustling Gant hurried back to block Kevin Parrom's driving attempt. As the ball bounced toward the Arizona bench, Thomas went flying to save it, sliding about 15-feet off the floor into an exit tunnel. He bounced back up took control of the ball and found Gant for an open 3 and a 59-50 Washington lead with 11:15 remaining.
A pair of quick Arizona baskets by Jones and Brendon Lavender quieted the roaring crowd, but Williams soon picked up his fourth foul with 10:04 left and the Wildcats down 59-54. Williams went to the bench for most of the next 2½ minutes and the Huskies pushed the lead back to nine thanks to a pair of driving baskets from Overton.
Williams returned after the under 8-minute media timeout, but was mostly invisible. He scored on a three-point play with 6:42 left, then didn't score again the rest of the game.
It was a stark contrast from the opening moments of the second half when Williams scored five straight and Lamont Jones' layup off a turnover gave Arizona its first lead since it was 8-6 in the opening minutes. The lead lasted all of 18 seconds as Bryan-Amaning responded with a dunk and Arizona never got closer than one point.
Solomon Hill added 12 points and Jones finished with 10 for the Wildcats, whose previous losses were to BYU, Kansas and Oregon State.