College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 16, 2011
Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with a season-high 27 points and distributed the ball with 13 assists - a career high - as the Washington Huskies cruised to a 92-71 win at Cal.
The chief beneficiaries of Thomas' largesse were Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Justin Holiday, who scored 22 and 23 points, respectively. The 13-4 Huskies raced out to a 48-33 lead at the half, holding the Golden Bears at bay for the win. In five conference wins, the Huskies have soundly defeated their opponents, with three of the wins coming on the road - at USC, UCLA and Cal - winning by an average margin of 17.4 points. Their lone loss was a 58-56 setback at Stanford last week.
The Huskies lead the PAC-10 race by 1/2 game over Arizona (4-1), whom they face on Thursday, Jan. 20.
NOTABLE: West Virginia continues to prove one of the toughest unranked teams from the Big East. On Sunday, they held sway at home, topping #8 Purdue, 68-64, improving to 12-4, while giving the Boilermakers their 3rd loss against 15 wins.
The Big East was also the stage for the upset du jour, where the upstart St. John's Red storm sent Notre Dame back to Indiana with a 72-54 thumping. St. John's improved to 4-2 in the conference and 11-5 overall.
For the celebration of Martin Luther King Day, ESPN will be airing a quartet of exceptional match-ups. The festivities get underway at 3:30 pm with #7 Villanova at #10 UConn, followed by #21 Kansas State at #15 Missouri at 5:30 pm. At 7:30, the highlight of the day, as the 5th-ranked Pitt Panthers host undefeated #4 Syracuse. The hoops-junkie delight finishes up with #3 Kansas at Baylor at 9:30 pm. All times are Eastern.