Think Arkansas’ win versus Oklahoma was a fluke? Think again. These Razorbacks are for real. (Hello, AP and Coaches Poll Voters. We’re back.)
Michael Washington just missed another double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 9 rebounds and Stefan Welsh added 20 huge points to help the Hogs beat their second top 10 team in a week handing #7 Texas their third loss of the year 67-61, and improving to 12-1 on the season. The Hogs have won 10 games in a row for the first time since 1995. Remember what happened that year? We ended up in the National Championship game.
Defense was key Wednesday night. Both teams struggled to score early on, as Texas and Arkansas combined for 1-20 from the three point line in the first half. Arkansas won the game despite shooting only 38% from the floor, but Texas was just a hare worse at 34%, and the Razorbacks were able to pull out the win.
Texas came into the game picked by many as a final four team, but a resilient Razorback team, and a rowdy Bud Walton crowd would not let the Razorbacks lose tonight. Arkansas fell behind by as many as 8 points in the second half, but just when you thought the Razorbacks might fold, they came storming back.
The Razorbacks were down 52-46, and Michael Washington made a step-back three pointer with the shot clock winding down that spurred an 11-0 run, and the Razorbacks never looked back.
“We were fortunate to win.” Razorback Coach John Pelphrey said after the game. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Texas. They are a tremendous team and we were very, very fortunate to win.”
Player of the game: Stefan Welsh. Possibly one of the most underrated members of this team, Stefan Welsh has come into his own in a big way in the last few weeks. Every time the Razorbacks needed a big play, Welsh provided it, and he also did an incredible job defensively on Texas star guard AJ Abrams holding him to 7 points, 12 points below his average. He also ran the point for a lot of the first half as Courtney Fortson got into some early foul trouble. Somebody, get this guy a gatorade or something.
Step up player of the game: The Razorback Fans at Bud Walton Arena. I usually don’t buy into this type of thing, but OMG. Bud Walton arena was rocking tonight like I haven’t heard it in a long, long time. The Razorback fans brought it in a big way tonight, and several times throughout the game the fans were able to lift the Razorbacks when they needed it, and Texas players were visibly rattled at times because of the crowd. There is no question the fans played a huge role in the outcome of the game tonight. Nice work, dudes.