Washington fell to 12-4 and suffered its first Pac-10 defeat, dropping to 4-1 in the conference. The defeat also snapped Washington's streak of 11 straight victories against conference opponents, six straight road wins against league teams and a six-game winning streak against Stanford.
Justin Holiday walked to the line with 2.5 seconds left and Washington trailing by two points.
Needing to hit both foul shots to force overtime, the 80 percent free-throw shooter watched his first attempt drift to the left, hit the side of the rim and deflect off the glass before bouncing harmlessly away.
He intentionally missed the second shot, and Stanford drew a traveling call while scrambling for the rebound to give Washington new life.
With 1.1 seconds left, Isaiah Thomas wanted to loft a lob pass to the rim for Holiday. Stanford defended the basket, which forced Thomas to pass to Holiday on the right side of the court near the UW bench.
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He got a good look at the rim, but short-armed a 12-footer over 6-foot-8 forward Josh Owens and came up short.
And while the Stanford players danced around him and celebrated a 58-56 upset of No. 17 Washington, Holiday tossed his head back and yelled in disgust.
He bent over and put his hands on his knees for several long seconds before walking off the Maples Pavilion floor, on the losing side for the first time in six games.
“None of us like to lose,” Holiday said. “Every time you lose it’s the same. It’s bad feelings. Especially when it’s something you can control.”
The Huskies left Stanford feeling as though they let a win slip through their grasp.
They didn’t regret Holiday’s missed free throw or midrange jumper, but rather their final defensive possession, when the Cardinal’s Jarrett Mann missed a jumper and Owens scored the winning basket on a putback with 29 seconds left.
“We didn’t play Husky basketball,” said Thomas, who finished with 14 points and seven assists. “We didn’t defend like we should have. You can end your season without boxing out. We lost a key game without boxing out.”
Owens’ basket capped a manic comeback from Stanford, which trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half and was down 51-41 with 8:55 remaining.
At that point, the Huskies crumbled offensively.
• Senior forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning missed a point-blank layup.
• Redshirt freshman guard C.J. Wilcox drew an offensive foul on a 2-on-1 fast break.
• Senior guard Venoy Overton missed a free throw.
• Sophomore center Aziz N’Diaye clanked a critical open layup.
Washington — which has the third-highest scoring offense in the nation, averaging 88.9 points per game — managed just five points in the final 8:55 against the stingiest defense in the Pac-10, allowing 60 points per game.
“At that point I thought that was the game,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “Now that you look back, maybe we could have extended that lead to 15 or 17 at that point, and we failed to take advantage of it.”
Holiday was one of two Huskies — Thomas the other — who played well in the second half. It was a bit surprising considering he missed his first five shot attempts and was scoreless at halftime.
For the first time this season, Washington trailed at the break (29-28), but Holiday put UW ahead 31-29 with a three-pointer in the opening minute of the second half.
He continued scoring on an array of three-pointers and an alley-oop dunk from Thomas.
Holiday finished with a game-high 15 points, but UW needed two more from its senior co-captain.
After Owens put Stanford ahead, junior guard Scott Suggs missed a three-pointer from the corner. Holiday collected the rebound and was fouled on the putback.
“When I got fouled I’m thinking, ‘Good — this is exactly what I want,’ ” Holiday said. ” ‘I’m going to be the guy that steps up and makes these free throws.’
“And I missed it.”
Washington fell to 12-4 and suffered its first Pac-10 defeat, dropping to 4-1 in the conference.
The defeat also snapped Washington’s streak of 11 straight victories against conference opponents, six straight road wins against league teams and a six-game winning streak against Stanford.
Owens scored a team-high 14 points for Stanford (10-5, 3-1). Jeremy Green added 12 points and Dwight Powell had 11.
It’s been a tumultuous week for the Huskies, who learned Monday that a men’s basketball player is being investigated by Seattle police in the alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.
Holiday said Washington’s off-court troubles did not play a role in the team’s first defeat since a one-point loss Dec. 11 at Texas A&M.
“No, sir,” he said.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or email@example.com
Percentages: FG .362, FT .500. Three-point goals: 8-26, .308 (Holiday 3-7, Suggs 2-4, Thomas 2-6, Ross 1-4, Gant 0-2, Wilcox 0-3). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 1 (N’Diaye). Turnovers: 15 (Thomas 4, Bryan-Amaning 3, Wilcox 2, Suggs, Ross, Holiday, Gant, Overton). Steals: 4 (Overton 2, Thomas, Holiday). Technical fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .412, FT .667. Three-point goals: 2-11, .182 (Green 2-5, Mann 0-1, Bright 0-2, And. Brown 0-3). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 3 (Owens 2, Powell). Turnovers: 11 (Harris 3, Mann 3, Powell 2, Bright 2, Green). Steals: 6 (Owens, Green, Harris, Trotter, And. Brown, Mann). Technical fouls: None.
Attendance: 5,896. Officials: Michael Eggers, Mark Reischling, Bob Staffen.