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Washington clinches tie for regular-season Pac-10 title

No. 21 Huskies rally past Arizona, 83-78, assuring themselves of no worse than their first co-championship since 1985, and next week can secure their first outright conference title since 1953.

March 01, 2009|Associated Press

Jon Brockman raised his arms, and on cue 10,000 followers obediently rose to their feet in full voice.

After four years of blue-collar service to Washington, Brockman was rewarded Saturday with an accomplishment nearly a quarter century in the making -- ownership of a Pacific 10 Conference regular-season title.

Spurred by Brockman's gritty 19 points and guard Isaiah Thomas, who also scored 19, the 21st-ranked Huskies clinched at least a tie for the Pac-10 championship by rallying for an 83-78 win over Arizona at Seattle.

"I'm so proud of these guys and the way we were able to come together," Brockman said. ". . . It's way more special than I thought."

It's the first time the Huskies (22-7, 13-4) can claim part of a conference title since 1985 when they shared the championship with USC.

Washington can claim its first outright league title since 1953 with a win over Washington State next Saturday or if some conference foes help out this week. Second-place UCLA (11-5 in the Pac-10) plays home games against Oregon State on Thursday and Oregon on Saturday.

"You've got to enjoy it. The way we won, came back and rallied together," Brockman said. "We can celebrate for a little bit."

Washington State 51, Arizona State 49 (OT): Taylor Rochestie's long three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in overtime at Pullman, Wash., lifted the Cougars (16-13, 8-9) to the upset of the No. 14 Sun Devils (21-7, 10-6), who were swept by the Washington schools this season and dropped to third in the Pac-10 standings.

Trailing, 49-48, Washington State got the ball with 12 seconds left on a rebound. Rochestie drove up court and dribbled into a tangle of players at the top of the key, then took a few steps back and launched the game-winner.

Ty Abbott's 40-footer at the buzzer bounced off the rim for Arizona State.

The Sun Devils' James Harden, the Pac-10's leading scorer, made only two of 11 field-goal attempts and was held to 13 points.

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