It took the entire regular season, AND the entire Pac-10 Tournament, but here we are. Isaiah Thomas is YOUR Clutch Shot Maker.
This game was nuts. Arizona could pretty much DO no wrong in the first half. They were lights out; it took 19 points by IT to even keep us in it. MBA had two early fouls (again), so we had to go zone earlier than we wanted (and probably more often than we wanted). At first, it worked, but eventually, ‘Zona figured it out and picked us apart. I don’t know how we went into halftime only down 3, but you could tell two things at that point:
1. They couldn’t possibly keep up their field goal percentage
2. We would come out hungry and in a frenzy.
Well, it wasn’t quite the comeback we saw in the Cougar game – our biggest deficit was 8 in the first half – but comeback we did. We worked our way to a 6-point lead before the game got close and stayed close. Both teams were within a basket of one another for most of this game. Of course, after we got our big second half lead, Arizona chipped away at it (courtesy of a lot of favorable calls by the refs), and it looked pretty damn grim going into the final minute.
Then, out of nowhere, a cold-shooting Husky team found its stroke! Terrence Ross, IT, and C.J. Wilcox all hit MONSTER threes. I’m not kidding, we were DEAD. We hit our first three to get it to within a point. Then, with under 30 seconds to go, we pressed full court. They beat it, found Derrick Williams, and fouled him. Unfortunately: continuation, And-1, down by 4. We moved the ball back down court in a hurry, hit ANOTHER 3, and this time we fouled someone who WASN’T in the act of shooting. One more time, under 10 seconds to go, IT drove the lane, dished to Wilcox in the corner, DRAINED IT! Luckily, they missed a miracle shot at the end to force Overtime.
From there, it kinda got hazy. I’m not gonna lie to you, I may have blacked out from all the excitement. All I know is, we had a slim lead, they tied it on a bigtime three, and with a timeout in our pockets we inbounded to IT. Every Husky was hugging the baseline under the basket. Forget the pick and roll, forget working it around the horn, forget driving the lane and jacking up an off-balanced runner. One on one, IT took his man to the arc, dug his shoulder into his man, stepped back and unleashed a fade-away jumper …
COTTON! GAME OVER!
I just have to say, I KNEW IT! I knew we’d beat those chickenfuckers on a neutral floor! Yes, they did get 16 more foul shots, yes they had MBA, Aziz, and IT all in foul trouble going into OT, yes they probably could’ve milked the paint for MORE fouls and MORE free throws if they wanted to. But, in the end, the better team won.
YOU HEAR ME? The Better Team Won, Arizona! The Better Team Won, Pac-10!
We are … tournament champions.
We are … Tournament bound.