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Bill’s Blog: Another Top 10 Night

Bill’s Blog:  Another Top 10 Night

10:19 p.m. — Good night from Bud Walton Arena — your final score is Arkansas 67, Texas 61.

10:18 p.m. — Saturday, Jan. 10 is the next Razorback home game, the SEC opener with Miss State at 7 p.m. I suspect what few tickets are left, are going as we speak to the on-line folks. Click on the ticket button on the front page to order.

10:17 p.m. — The students sing — Lord, It’s Hard to be Humble, When You’re An Arkansas Razorback Fan.

10:16 p.m. — Pel is trying his best to keep down a smile, and now he can’t help it. He and Washington are headed to ESPN postgame. The crowd begins to chant SEC, SEC, SEC — why not? Back to back Big 12 top 10 teams have now felt the wrath of Walton.

10:15 p.m. — Long three is way off, second three is off, third three is off and finally, Arkansas rebound. The deep outlet pass is to Welsh, he lays it in and that’s the game — 67-61 — and the players kiss the Hog again.

10:14 p.m. — Student section sign spotted: "40 Minutes of Pel" — Yeah, I know it’s old, but it is appropriate tonight.

10:12 p.m. — And this is the stuff of legend. Fortson dribbles out of trouble, finds Washington. Washington monster dunk and foul. He sinks it and the crowd is about to go berserk. Razorbacks lead now, 65-61, with 22.5 left. Shot clock will be off. Pel calls a time out to set his defense. The crowd calls the hogs. Everyone is standing.. It’s epic.

10:11 p.m. — UT shows FCP. Falls out quickly. Arkansas hasn’t scored since 2:46, now under 30 seconds left, 12 differential.

10:10 p.m. — Mason tips in a Ward miss to cut the Arkansas lead to one, 62-61, with 48.2 left. Razorbacks will inbound after this UT time out. They have one left.

10:09 p.m. — UT miss; Fortson rebound — nervous energy starting to ripple over the crowd. With 1:00 left, crowd is worrying.

10:08 p.m. — Fortson drives again, unique physics give the ball back to UT with 1:41 left; tonight’s crowd is the largest non-conference crowd since 1999.

10:06 p.m. — Fortson drives, changes hands in midair, and sinks the layup on the right side; 62-57 Hogs. Did we mention A) Fortson is taking over the game (13 pts, 8 reb, 4 asst right now) and B) the crowd is loud. Horns get a jumper from Abrams and quickly call a time out, 62-59, 2:12 to play.

10:04 p.m. — Tonight’s attendance, 19,012. Another 19+ night for Walton Arena.

10:02 p.m. — Set play on the inbound for Welsh, 60-57 Razorbacks; we’ll go to our final media time out.

10:00 p.m. — Breakaway rebound dunk for UT ties the game at 57-57; Pel calls time with 3:35 left in the game.

9:59 p.m. — Pittman gets the fourth foul out of Fortson, snapping an 11-0 run by Arkansas. He gets the throw, and UT pulls within two, 57-55.

9:59 p.m. — Fortson is starting to take control of this game. He drives down the right side of the lane, lofts the floater and draws the foul from Mason. He closes out the three-point play, UA 56-52.

9:58 p.m. — Washington misses both, but then so does UT and Monk comes up with a huge rebound. Washington drives the baseline, but gets foiled by Pittman. Big man has to watch that he’s got four fouls.

9:56 p.m. — Washington sinks it, 54-52, Arkansas. Foul on Washington on the UT end, the 10th on the Horns so double bonus the rest of the way.

9:55 p.m. — Here with 5:29 left, we’ll remind those again following on-line, click on the video button. That’s the audio we have tonight as the main audio computer didn’t fire in Little Rock. We will have a new third back-up on-line next game to rectify the problem. I apologize for the inconvenience.

9:53 p.m. — Pelphrey reaches out onto the court to give Fortson a side-five for that handling of the play.

9:53 p.m. — Patience is rewarded as Arkansas runs the shot clock to two, finds Washington on the inside, and for the first time in a long time, ARKANSAS leads, 53-52. Washington is at the line, with one. Texas takes a time out.

9:48 p.m. — This is quickly turning into a slobber-knocker; one of those very physical games where you get so hard going for loose balls or rebounds that you end up with spit going everywhere. To prove the point, we’ve played the last 1:40 of clock time with only one field goal by either team, but a whole lotta defense.

9:45 p.m. — Well, on a night that everyone else is struggling from outside (Stefan is 1-of-6, Clarke 2-of-5) why not let the big man shoot. Washington drains the three-pointer and we’re back to within a bucket, 52-49, and a time out called by Arkansas.

9:42 p.m. — Fortson draws another foul driving inside. UT is collapsing on him. Fortson misses, 50-46.

9:42 p.m. — Washington keeps Arkansas in the trading buckets battle, 47-46.

9:37 p.m. — Horns get a bucket to move back four. Fortson sacrifices his body on a drive, whips a sidearm pass to Welsh on the perimeter which he drains for just the third three-pointer of the night, 45-44, with 10:20 left.

9:32 p.m. — Pittman tries to muscle Sanchez off a rebound, and the 6-10 UT center gets his fourth personal foul, UT’s 7th. Sanchez at the line, and a hush — good, now I can clearly hear my ears ring from the crowd noise — falls over the arena. Sanchez gets both, it’s 43-41, and the entire arena is on its feet. Turnover UT, but busted fast break for UA.

9:31 p.m. — And that’s why he’s Courtney Fortson. Fortson picks a pass from mid-air, goes the length then floats in the layup, 43-39; he back it up with a rebound and draws a foul — the sixth for UT — from Balbay. Hogs have the chance to cut within a bucket, and a spontaneous Hog Call breaks out.

9:31 p.m. — Washington with the hoop and harm; unfortunately he leaves the frame open with the FT miss — 43-37 Arkansas trails.

9:30 p.m. — Horns getting some distance, building their largest lead so far at 43-35.

9:27 p.m — First media time out. For the second half, the shooting woes continue. To open, UT is 50% from the field, 4-8, while Arkansas is hitting only 33%; right before the timeout, Marcus Monk picks up his third foul.

9:25 p.m. — A standing ovation for Eddie Sutton. You can tell he’s choked up on the video board. (at right, Coach Sutton walks in with the crowd headed for his seat in the stands)

9:23 pm. — FINALLY, three-pointer from Clarke, 37-34 Texas. It’s only the second three-pointer of the night — on 14 attempts.

9:21 p.m. — Razorbacks spreading the Longhorn defense, and making aggressive attacks at the gaps. Welsh lays one in to cut it to 35-31.

9:20 p.m. — Pittman gets number three trying to deny Washington a reverse, back-spin layup. Washington gets both, but then on the pressure by Fortson, Courtney picks up a quick foul.

9:19 p.m. — Not only is the majority of the crowd on its feet when Arkansas is on defense, so is the majority of the Courtside Club.

9:17 p.m — We’re back underway. Dexter Pittman misses a pair of point-blank shots, with Washington pulling down the rebound. On the opposite end, Washington forces the second foul of the game from Pittman.

9:09 p.m. — Looking inside the stats, Razorbacks struggled mightily from behind the arc, one of the season lows with 1-of-11. We have to think that won’t continue.

9:02 p.m. — Razorback pom squad performs to "Get Over It"

8:58 p.m. — Full court press by Arkansas, UT misses a three, but gets the rebound, now they can milk the clock for the final shot. A tremendous battle for the final rebound, which UT gets, but fails to convert, sends the teams to the locker rooms with UT leading 31-27.

8:56 p.m. — Pel, red sport coat like a stop sign, waives down Fortson — SLOW DOWN, and Fortson takes it up floor to set a play. Razorbacks miss, and the Horns take a timeout with 46.7 left in the first half, 31-27 is the UT lead.

8:54 p.m. — Fortson with the steal and the coast-to-coast sprint. He gets fouled by Balbay, the ninth UT foul, and that sends Fortson to the line. He gets one of two, but UT flubs the rebound and it’s Arkansas ball on the far baseline, 31-27, 2:01.

8:53 p.m. — Johnson muscles into the lane over Moore, 31-24 UT.

8:50 p.m. — It’s an 11-2 run by UT that puts Arkansas in the position it finds itself, but the Walton Arena crowd is coming to its feet at the close of this media time out. The band director, Jeremy, has grabbed one of the basketball facemasks of one of the students and its running around the floor to get the crowd on its feet. Dare I say, it’s a Robkin-esque move.

8:49 p.m. — Sanchez dances along the baseline, and works one in, 29-24, UT; takes us the the final media timeout of the half.

8:49 p.m. — Welsh breaks the UT run, 27-22.

8:47 p.m. — Hogs struggling to hit from the field, tremendous effort on the defensive end and hustle, but we’re hitting only 27% from the field.

8:42 p.m. — The back and forth continues, but the edge now is to UT as they are using the free throw line to extend a slight lead. Pittman just hit a pair to take the spread to 23-18.

8:34 p.m. — The game is turning physical, and the fouls are starting to mount for both teams. Neither side has exhibited a lot of offense — 35% from the field for Arkansas and 33% for UT — but a ton of defense. Horns at the line now with James shooting a one-and-one, UT should be by three, 21-18, with 8:19 left, but a lane violation wipes one FT off, 20-18.

8:31 p.m. — Seventh foul for UT.

8:30 p.m. — For those trying to listen, there is a computer problem at network; we have inserted a streamer here at the arena to provide coverage while it is getting repaired. Switch to the encoder that is showing up as "video"

8:29 p.m. — Johnson ties it up for UT out of the time out, 16-16.

8:26 p.m. — Fouls now turning on Arkansas, and a slow-motion comeback by UT to within 2 points, 16-14. Second media time out.

8:21 p.m. — Clint Chapman went from one to three fouls in the space of 20 seconds. The Horns’ 6-10 center heads for the bench.

8:19 p.m. — We’ve kept a container of ear plugs here in the new media section for noise. Tonight, we’ve got a few media taking us up on them.

8:16 p.m. — First TV timeout. Razorbacks are hitting 63% from the field to open with Washington and Welsh both at 2-of-3 from the floor. Horns are hitting only 27% from the field, and Arkansas has an 8-3 rebound advantage already. The imposing size of the Longhorns isn’t translating into lane power thus far.

8:15 p.m. — Clarke drains a trey in front of the UT bench — it’s a 7-0 run and the building is on fire.

8:13 p.m. — Washington with a huge rejection, leading to a driving layup for Welsh, 8-6 Hogs. The noise is extreme.

8:11 p.m. — Washington goes inside again, this time a full blown dunk, 6-4 Arkansas.

8:09 p.m. — Washington muscles in for the first UA bucket, then pulls down a power rebound. He feeds Fortson who takes it down the lane to earn a foul. Hogs have two early turnovers, but UT hasn’t taken a lot of advantage. With the throws, UA now leads, 4-3.

8:08 p.m. — Man pressure from UT as Ward meets Fortson on the inbound.

8:07 p.m. — Tip controlled by UT. Backdoor dunk by James.

8:05 p.m. — If last game marked Bud Walton being back, tonight signals the movement of this arena to another level. The noise and packed house are intense.

8:04 p.m. — Razorback starters: Washington, Fortson, Welsh, Clarke, Sanchez. Huge roar for SEC Player of the Week Washington.

8:03 p.m. — HORN SOUNDS. Starters for Texas — Pittman (Who Cares), James (He’s Cute), Ward (What’s That Smell), Mason (Who’s She), Abrams (Big Deal) Rick Barnes (Nice Hair) (The students holding up signs and shouting for each starter introduced).

8:02 p.m. — 1:00 to tip

8:01 p.m. — Among the folks walking into the arena to watch, Eddie Sutton. He’s coached with UK here, but tonight is the first time he’s sat in the stands and watched a game at Walton. Pel had him talk to the team this afternoon about what Arkansas-UT means.

8:00 p.m. — John Pelphrey makes his entrance, in a Razorback red blazer.

7:59 p.m. — This is Arkansas Basketball — And it’s game time in Fayetteville — Hogs have re-entered the floor.

7:55 p.m. — This place is packed; 5:00 to tip and the new ribbon board addition to the highlight video is running.

7:51 p.m. — Took a moment to run upstairs and see the line — they’re almost out to the street in the South entrance. What a crowd.

7:48 p.m. — Razorbacks are off the court, Longhorns on for warmups. About 12:00 on the clock.

7:35 p.m. — That last meeting in Fayetteville did not end well for the Horns, 101-89. Arkansas has a 13-3 lead in Fayetteville, but UT won the last meeting in Austin back in 2006. There goes the first Hog Call of the night from the students — they are working it for the media cameras and ESPN video.

7:30 p.m. — Johnny George calls the hogs onto the floor for the official warm-up period. The student section is almost full.

7:21 p.m. — Student section performs for the ESPN cameras to get their hero shots down early.

7:19 p.m. — This isn’t the only SWC game this week — the Razorback women’s team traveled to Lubbock, Texas, to play Texas Tech this past Saturday.

7:16 p.m. — The clock is at 45:00; HogWild band has entered to do set-up.

7:15 p.m. — The lower student section — The Trough, proper — is now packed, and the upper section is about half full. Students are offering mock praise for the UT player dunks.

7:13 p.m. — Longhorn post players are stress testing the anchor on the east goal with dunks; Razorbacks have cleared the floor.

7:02 p.m. — The game clock is on, 60 minutes to go

6:56 p.m. — Tonight is the first time for former Southwest Conference rival Texas to play in Fayetteville since the Razorbacks’ departure from the now defunct league, and it is Texas’ first game in Bud Walton Arena.

6:54 p.m. — The number to watch tonight is 80. John Pelphrey is 44-3 in his seven year head coaching career when his teams score more than 80.

6:52 p.m. — Most of the Razorbacks are on the court for shooting.

6:51 p.m. — Remember, tonight is the last night to vote in the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Year. Voting closes at midnight eastern time. Click on the link at

6:47 p.m. — The nine-game winning streak for Arkansas is the longest for the Razorbacks since the 2006 team did the same.

6:33 p.m. — Longhorns out on the court starting their informal shooting. They are appropriately greeted by the Trough.

6:24 p.m. — Brad Nessler will have the PBP tonight with Dykes on the color.

6:23 p.m. — Fayetteville’s own, Jimmy Dykes and his family have walked in for tonight’s game. He’ll be on ESPN tonight as a part of the crew.

6:22 p.m. — The local NBC affiliate, KNWA, has joined live-shot row. They’re all on-air right now from the end of the court.

6:20 p.m. — Fans coming to the game tonight will get a treat with the ribbon boards. We’ve had a chance to see some of the previews of graphics, and they are another step up from the OU game. Expect to see some really cool moving effects tonight.

6:05 p.m. — Shortly after the doors opened, about a third of the student lower section was already full, and the Trough regulars are working on their notes, their signs and they are prepping.

5:50 p.m. — Doors in 10 minutes. It’s a chilly night in Fayetteville, but not as bad as earlier this week when there was some thunder sleet and temps in the 20s

5:45 p.m. — Pregame spotting of Pat Bradley, wearing a Razorback tee shirt that said "DEFENSE"

5:40 p.m. — Was that Eddie Sutton we saw earlier walking around the floor of Walton Arena?

5:35 p.m. — Live shots on the floor for KTHV and KATV as the ESPN director has a final discussion with some of his crew

5:30 p.m. — Lot of buzz on the concourse. A huge crowd is expected, and earlier today, we were down to just 800 seats to sell. Just like the OU game, another hard ticket at Walton.

Good afternoon and welcome to the Bud Walton Arena press room. Tipoff is two and a half hours away with tonight’s game on ESPN2 at 8:05 p.m. This is of course a one hour later start time, so the blog will begin a little later than usual.

Another reminder, tonight’s game is on ESPN and for that reason will not be a live video stream. Starting with the next home game with SEC play, we are no longer allowed by league guidelines to stream live video. Thanks to all our viewers around the world — literally — for the men’s non-conference games we streamed earlier this year — a first.

Sports Category : Basketball (M)