SEATTLE -- The Washington Huskies took over sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 with an 85-68 victory over the Arizona Wildcats tonight/Thursday at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
The loss dropped Arizona to 15-4 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-10 entering a game Saturday night at Washington State.
The Cougars (14-5, 4-3) beat ASU 78-61 earlier Thursday.
The 20th-ranked Huskies improved to 6-1 in the Pac-10 and 14-4 overall.
The Wildcats took a brief one-point lead early in the second half but Washington began to take charge of the game several minutes later.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for Washington with 20 points and eight assists, while Justin Holiday had 19 points and Matthew Bryan Amaning added 16.
For Arizona, Derrick Williams had 22 points and 11 rebounds but he didn’t get enough help. Solomon Hill had 12 points and MoMo Jones had 10, yet Jones had more turnovers (three) than assists (two).
Williams picked up his fourth foul with 10:04 to go but had already recorded his double-double several minutes earlier.
The Huskies took control of the game midway through the second half after UA had taken a brief 44-43 lead and cut Washington’s lead to 51-48 later.
Isaiah Thomas sparked one key play during the transition – not with offense but with pure hustle, racing into the stands to save a deflection of a shot by Kevin Parrom that was blocked. Washington converted that sudden possession into a three-pointer by Darnell Gant and took a 59-50 lead with 11:15 left.
With about 12 minutes left, after several long conversations with officials, UA coach Sean Miller was issued a warning.
Earlier in the second half, Jones picked up a loose ball and made a layup to give UA a brief 44-43 lead with 16:09 left, though Washington's Matthew Bryan-Amaning answered with a dunk to give the Huskies the lead back.
At that point, Washington had committed 10 turnovers while UA had eight through the first 24 minutes.
UA trailed by five at halftime, but Williams tied the game at 38 with 18:28 left after UA grabbed a loose ball in the Husky backcourt.
The Wildcats trailed by up to 10 points in the first half and struggled predictably with guard play against Washington and Thomas. But they managed to outrebound the Huskies 21-18, with seven rebounds coming from Williams, while Washington held a 36-31 lead at halftime.
Hill led UA in scoring for the half with eight points while Williams and Kevin Parrom each had six. The Wildcats had only one assist from their two point guards, by Jordin Mayes. Jones had three turnovers and no assists. UA also experimented with Brendon Lavender at the point.
The Wildcats trailed 32-22 with 2:48 left after Terrence Ross made a pair of free throws for Washington but the Wildcats cut the lead to 32-29 thanks in part to a three-pointer by Parrom.
However, Thomas hit a three-pointer with 1:13 left in the half and Venoy Overton made 1 of 2 free throws with 48.7 seconds left for a 36-29 Washington lead before Williams scored on UA’s last possession of the half.
Washington led 30-22 with 3:13 left after going on 9-1 run punctuated by Overton's jam from the baseline.
Thomas missed all four of his first four free throws, helping Wildcats stay within two points, 13-11, with 11:58 to go. Thomas entered the game shooting 82.9 percent from the line in conference games.
UA called timeout with 13:15 left, with Washington on 7-0 run to take 13-8 lead. Huskies scored twice in a row off UA turnovers and Isaiah Thomas has gotten good looks.
Williams missed his first three field goals and had one foul through first four minutes but UA led 8-6 early in the game.
The Wildcats were playing without reserve guards Daniel Bejarano (flu-like symptoms) and Dondre Wise (dental surgery), both of whom did not make the trip.
Before the game, Washington announced that its Bank of America Arena homecourt inside Hec Edmundson Pavilion had been changed to Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.