Washington bounced back from its 58-56 loss to Stanford to thump California Sunday night in Berkely, 92-71. The Huskies (13-4, 5-1 Pac-10) next face Arizona this upcoming Thursday in a battle for first place in the Pac-10 Conference.
Jones will get first crack at slowing down Washington's Isaiah Thomas when the two schools meet this Thursday in Seattle.
Arizona (14-3, 4-1) is a half-game behind Washington in the conference standings having swept the Bay Area schools and besting Arizona State in its last three tips. Thursday's match up against the Huskies will be the first time playing away from home for Arizona since Jan. 2 when the Wildcats fell to Oregon State, 76-75.
Following the win over Cal, Husky point guard Isaiah Thomas took a jab at Washington's next opponent after being asked if the Arizona game was one he had circled on his calendar.
" I haven't," said Thomas. "They probably have."
The Huskies shot 52.3 percent from the floor and made 13-of-29 three-pointers against the Bears. However, the story was the play of Thomas who has assumed point guard duties following the loss of starting sophomore point guard Abdul Gaddy to a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago.
Against Cal Thomas finished with 27 points and 13 assists, a game Washington coach Lorenzo Romar called Thomas' best as a Husky.
Thomas will be tough to defend for any Arizona Wildcat perimeter player, but perhaps gave the Wildcats some unintended motivation with his post game comment. Thomas is lightning quick and has a scorer's mentality having played most of his college career at shooting guard. Arizona has improved defensively, but remains skittish as a team in on-ball perimeter defense and denying dribble penetration when facing speedy guards.
Washington won last year's meeting against Arizona in Seattle 81-75. However, the Huskies were trounced by the Wildcats in Tucson earlier in the 2009-10 season, 87-70, at Arizona's McKale Center.
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