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Bill’s Blog: Big Night at Bud

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Bill’s Blog: Big Night at Bud

9:30 p.m. — So that’s a final from the blog. The AMR staff will return with game story and stats later. Remember, tomorrow at noon the Razorback women face Stetson here at Walton Arena. From the third row of the media section, right on the tunnel, good night and WPS.

9:28 p.m. — As predicted, no one even made a move toward rushing the floor, except the Razorback players. They ran to the Classic Hog on the middle of the floor and jump on the hog, slapping the hardwood to signify that not unlike no one stomps on the Star in Dallas, no one comes in to challenge their big pig.

9:27 p.m. — Welsh and Fortson run into the student section to sing and sway as the students sing Hard to be Humble.

9:26 p.m. — That’s the ball game, Arkansas 96, #4 Oklahoma 88. The first huge upset of the year for Arkansas, and a game that should gateway the Razorbacks toward the top 25.

9:24 p.m. — Taylor Griffin joins the Sooner exiles with his fifth; and Crocker is on the floor with four. If he goes, that will be four of five starters fouling out. Stefan Welsh gets the first but misses second, 96-88 with 10 seconds.

9:23 p.m. — Another Sooner, Cade Davis, fouls out. Razorbacks, who were solid early at the line, have now gotten into a 1-of-2 habit in this last minute. Still, 95-85 with 20 seconds.

9:21 p.m. — Razorbacks have six in double digits. Even more remarkable as only eight have played tonight.

9:20 p.m. — Warren picks up his fifth, but a heck of a night with 35 points.

9:18 p.m. — OU forced to foul, and Arkansas sinking both the shots and the Sooners. Arkansas now up 93-84 with 40.6 left. OU calls its final time out.

9:17 p.m. — PA announcer makes the obligatory "don’t go on the floor . . . it’s an SEC rule . . . there’s a fine . . . blah blah blah." Look, the real reason why Arkansas fans won’t storm the floor? Not the $10,000 fine. Cause this isn’t the first time we’ve taken out a top five team at home. It’s what we do.

9:16 p.m. — Fortson scoops up the OU miss, and Blake Griffin fouls out with 55.6 seconds left.

9:15 p.m. — Fortson hits one of two, so he’s got the double with 10 points and 10 assists. He’s two rebounds from the triple.

9:14 p.m. — Razorbacks milk the clock down to five seconds, the Fortson penetrates and dishes to Washington; return trip results in a really shot trey for OU. Fortson fouled by OU with 1:10 left and a seven-point Arkansas spread.

9:11 p.m. — Washington with the lane-crossing mini-sky hook; he’s 22 points and 11 boards. Blake Griffin responds by backing four-foul Sanchez into the lane, margin holds at five, 86- 81.

9:10 p.m. — A wild scramble for the ball ends with a scrum and Arkansas taking possession on the jump ball. Last media time out, with 3:33 to play, Arkansas holds a five point margin, 84-79.

9:08 p.m. — Washington draws Taylor Griffins fourth foul. So for OU, that’s both Griffins and Crocker with four; Washington, Welsh and Sanchez with four for Arkansas. Somebody goes home early tonight.

9:07 p.m. — Sanchez gets his fourth personal and to the line is Warren. He gets both, 83-79 Arkansas.

9:05 p.m. — OU three-pointer by Willie Warren. He’s got 27. The lead is down to seven, 81-74. Washington and Sanchez check back in for Arkansas. Warren gets another three, and the lead is four. Washington picks up the long pass from Fortson as OU tries to press, monster jam for 83-77.

9:05 p.m. — Blake Griffin into the Court Side seats.

9:04 p.m. — Win or lose, Arkansas now has the distinction of hanging the most points on the No. 4 team in the country. OU’s previous opponent high was 78. Now its’ 81-69 Arkansas.

9:03 p.m. — OU time out. Tonight’s attendance — a season high 19,604.

9:02 p.m. — Monk to the rack, 80-67, as OU plays soft to avoid fouling out.

9:01 p.m. — Sure as we say bad free throws, OU hits their next four straight, 78-67 Arkansas.

8:59 p.m. — Monk gets his third foul, which is Arkansas’ 10th. Before we get too happy about OU’s current 4-of-14 as Griffin goes to the line, recall not too many days ago that the Missouri women shot only 2-of-14 to open, then found some way to upend the Razorback women by one point on the last minute.

8:57 p.m. — YES as the scoreboard says, Hog Fans Are Standing. Monk doubles his career high now with 10 points.

8:55 p.m. –Blake Griffin picks up his fourth personal foul. Monk to the line, and he’s working a career high right now. His previous was five way back in the 2005-06.

8:54 p.m. — Fortson finds Monk down low, he forces the third foul of the game out of Taylor Griffin, which is OU’s 10th. Monk gets both for eight points and snaps the OU run.

8:53 p.m. — And again Crocker on the back side, but this one cuts the once huge lead to nine, 72-63. Arkansas needs to regain its mojo.

8:51 p.m. — Pair of Arkansas turnovers and just like that, fourth-ranked shows you why they are — right now a 13-0 run by the Sooners. Pel smartly calls a time out to settle his team.

8:50 p.m. — Crocker gets his third straight. He’s snowbirding for space off the back side of the OU offense. Effectively, I might add.

8:47 p.m. — Can you hear Kojak screaming? CROCK-AAAHH. Tony gets back-to-back threes for the Sooners, and we go to the second media timeout with the margin pulled back to 19, 72-53.

8:46 p.m. — Clarke rains a three, 72-47.

8:45 p.m. — OU might want to think about a TO.

8:44 p.m. — With Washington out and Arkansas small, Pelpfrey makes a genius move — he puts on the full court press, and OU obliges by giving up a bad shot off a hurry up the floor. The tempo is moving up.

8:42 p.m. — Ouch — Washington picks up his fourth and takes a seat. Razorbacks lead 66-47.

8:41 p.m. — Coach Jeff Capel is all in; Tony Crocker is back on the floor with four fouls with 13:30 to play.

8:39 p.m. — Somewhere in northwest Arkansas, a tall grey-haired gentlemen is sitting at his ranch, and he’s smiling. Why? Cause the house he built is back.

8:37 p.m. — Sanchez drives the left side of the lane with a high glass kiss, then Fortson — that’s 5-11 Courtney Fortson — pulls down the rebound and jets the length of the court to lay one up on the right side of the lane. With that, OU decides it is an appropriate time for a discussion — time out number three for the Sooners and back to a 20-point Hog spread.

8:37 p.m. — Michael Washington and Blake Griffin lock up like a pair of bucks on the Alaskan tundra. Washington wins the post position battle, and Griffin’s third foul.

8:34 p.m — So my seatmate here on press row from The Buzz makes the point that Arkansas might have a problem with fouls as the Sooners are now in the bonus. Looking at the stat monitor, maybe Arkansas should foul more — OU is 40% the field but only 27% at the line. Right now, that’s obviously where OU is least dangerous.

8:31 p.m. — First media timeout of the second half. Razorbacks have one weak spot tonight — free throw line. Hogs are hitting 63% from the field (including 56% from the trey) but only 65% at the line. Of course, to have a weakness, someone has to exploit it, and at 3-of-11 at the line themselves, the Sooners aren’t doing well at all.

8:29 p.m. — After a very physical exchange that sends Fortson and Sanchez flying off opposite sides of the court, the crowd rises as one, having had enough of Oklahoma. Thunderous roar. Razorbacks up 60 -46.

8:28 p.m. — Circus floater layup for Marcus Monk, he’s got six and three boards.

8:26 p.m. — Pretty obvious that the imposter wearing No. 23 for Oklahoma has been replaced by the real Blake Griffin. Four points and five boards in just three minutes so far this half, and a much more aggressive style of play.

8:25 p.m. — After having only four first-half turnovers, Arkansas already has one charged (and one not) here in the early second half.

8:24 p.m. — Davis gets his second for OU climbing over Stefan Welsh. Turns out to be a good foul as Welsh misses first. Sanchez comes in for Washington, who’ll likely sit for a while with three fouls.

8:23 p.m. — Teams trade buckets, then Washington picks up his third foul. Pel subs, but not for Washington.

8:22 p.m. — We’re underway.

8:17 p.m. — There come the Sooners.

8:15 p.m. — Razorbacks back on the floor, no Sooners yet.

8:12 p.m. — A quick shout out to the over 600 folks watching the steam live tonight at RazorVision. Hope you’re enjoying the game as much as we are here in the arena.

8:10 p.m. — Remember, vote Arkansas in the pontiac.com/ncaa contest.

8:07 p.m. — It’s halftime, Arkansas gymnastics team is being honored for their top 10 finish last year, and the first all-Americans in school history.

8:05 p.m. — Michael Washington comes screaming off the floor, jumping down the tunnel beside the media. He’s pumped, and he should be. Here’s Washington’s first half line: 7-8 from the field, 3-5 at the line, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 17 points. Meanwhile, OU’s Griffin is at 2-of-6 for five points and six rebounds.

8:04 p.m. — Token man full court pressure after free throws by OU, Razorbacks up 51-38 and have the last possession of the half. A blind pass from Fortson to Washington. Washington then rips down the rebound of the last gasp shot by OU.

8:03 p.m. — One of two at the line, Razorbacks now have 51 with just under a minute left in the half. Let me repeat. That’s 51 points. In the first half. Against the No. 4 team in the country.

8:02 p.m. — Lot of teams want to pull a deficit back to single digits. Sooners are working just to get back to 15 down.

8:00 p.m. — Here’s the thing about taking points away from ex-football players. They will come back to replace them, and Monk just broke down the lane for a monster dunk; 50-31 Arkansas. Good thing Jeff Long bought those new heavy duty goals.

7:59 p.m. — Fortson picks the pocket, goes the length but hiccups the layup. Monk is there to throw it down, but gets called for goal tending.

7:58 p.m. — Marcus Monk pulls down his second rebound of the night, and draws the second foul of the evening from Blake Griffin. Monk gets the first, and the second. Now its a 6-0 Arkansas run, 48-31.

7:56 p.m. — Washington jams, and Jeff Capel find the limit of freedom of speech. He get’s clocked for the technical. He continues his debate while Roteni hits both.

7:55 p.m. — Final TV time out of the half. The students are standing. They are aggressively waiving their towels at the rest of the crowd. Now some of the folks in section 105 and 106 get to their fee to join in.

7:52 p.m. — Officials go to the scorer’s table to sort out a clock issue, the clock coasted on the last foul, and is reset to 4:08. Washington with his distinctive off-center stance (his feet are above the S in the SEC logo) gets one of two to snap the Sooner run.

7:50 p.m. — The Sooner run is now 10-0, but a foul down low on Willie Warren, OU’s 9th, sends Washington to the line. After a fast start, Washington’s not scored since the 8:18 mark.

7:49 p.m. — Hogs call their second time out of the half; Arkansas up 41-27, but Sooners starting a run — currently at 7-0.

7:47 p.m. — Credit Oklahoma. In spite of losing their fiery guard and a poor start by Griffin — who just missed a free throw horribly — they remain reasonably calm and collected given the hostile crowd.

7:46 p.m. — Clarke goes to the bench to a huge ovation, his play not only ups the margin to 21, but puts Crocker on the bench with four fouls.

7:44 p.m. — Tony Crocker commits a foul on Roteni Clarke, then backed it up with a technical foul. Roteni Clarke will shoot the techs, and hits both. Now Clarke will shot one-and-one — ooh, the first miss of the year for Clarke — 19 straight to open.

7:41 p.m. — Arkansas is shooting a whopping 68.2% from the field, 62.5% from three-point range; they are doubling up OU who’s hitting just 30%. Razorbacks have 15 field goals to only six for OU — and the two teams have almost the same shots (20 and 22, respectively).

7:39 p.m. — After cutting the Arkansas lead back to 12, Arkanas is now on a 8-2 run to go back up by 20, 37-17. OU calls their second time out.

7:38 p.m. — Washington drives right past Griffin for two — Washington now has 11.

7:37 p.m. — Player control on Brandon Moore, that’s Arkansas’ 8th foul.

7:36 p.m. — At 8:54 in the first half, Blake Griffin just scored his first point, a free throw; Arkansas 33-17.

7:36 p.m. — The new ribbon board noise meter has the crowd going.

7:35 p.m. — For those of you scoring at home, OU’s Blake Griffin, who averages 23 ppg and 14.1 rpg, curently has 0 points and 3 rebounds.

7:34 p.m — How Clarke got that shot off against 6-9 Ryan Wright is one thing; he drains it for 30-15 Arkansas.

7:33 p.m. — Out of the media timeout, patient offensive possession by the Sooners as they work it around for a Warren 3 pter.

7:30 p.m. — Marcus Monk called for a push, which sends us to the second media time out. Coach Pel turns away from the floor to express his very strong opinion. Suspect those who are listening tonight on the radio may have been able to listen in.

7:28 p.m. — Britt does it AGAIN. Coaching staff must have picked up something in the scouting for Britt to be that spot-on with his blind backside block. The Sooners haven’t scored since the last media time out.

7:27 p.m. — Marcus Britt just jacked up Blake Griffin’s shot FROM BEHIND. Oh my, 12-0 run for the Razorbacks.

7:26 p.m. — Bad decision by OU. Sooners are now trying to trap Fortson. Two straight trips down the floor, all that has done is leave someone open, principally Michael Washington. Back-to-back dunks and we’re 25-8.

7:25 p.m. — Coach Pel smiles. I would too.

7:24 p.m. — Welsh again, this time deep corner; turnover OU, Fortson goes the length and dishes to Sanchez; at 21-8 OU finally calls a time out. An earsplitting Hog Call ensues. I may need to go to the ear plugs soon.

7:23 p.m. — Big night on the stream tonight from all around the world. We’re opening with 400 viewers, and hello to those in Iraq mediserving our nation to those in Poland and Italy, just tuning in.

7:22 p.m. — Welsh calmly sinks a top-of-the-key three, 16-8 Arkansas — Razorbacks now 66.7% from the field and 66.7% from the three.

7:20 p.m. — Arkansas has a 63% to 42% advantage from the field, thanks in great part to a 8-2 advantage on points in the paint. Sooners living by the three right now as Arkansas clogs the lane on defense. Razorbacks yet to make a turnover.

7:19 p.m. — Officials whistle play dead after Tony Crocker strokes a deep three to issue some type of warning to the Sooner junior. Results in a media timeout on the deadball.

7:18 p.m. — Sooners overplay Fortson to force others to handle the ball. Fine says Stefan Welsh, who makes a no-look, cross lane bounce pass to a wide-open cutting Sanchez. He gets the bucket, but can’t convert the three-point play. 13-5 Arkansas.

7:16 p.m. — Washington goes inside; that’s six in the paint for Arkansas to 2 for OU and a 11-5 lead.

7:15 p.m. — Fortson scoops up a loose ball, drives the lane and dishes to Washington; he turns it down for Sanchez, who muscles up a bucket to make it 9-5 Arkansas. Volume when OU is on offense is best I’ve heard in Walton Arena in years. You can literally feel the new atmosphere. Quick TO just now by Coach Pel.

7:14 p.m. — Razorbacks showing a lot of movement and speed; Sooners trying to throw traps out of the man defense; only resulting in fouls.

7:13 p.m. — Sanchez mans-up inside to draw the second OU foul (Griffin); no back down from Arkansas toward the strong inside game of OU. Sanchez gets one of two, 7-3 Arkansas and the crowd comes alive.

7:12 p.m. — Washington brings down the power dunk and gets the foul; completes the three-point play, 6-3.

7:11 p.m. — Return trey by Warren, 3-3.

7:10 p.m. — Fortson has the tip for Arkansas; Clarke drains the three; 3-0 Arkansas.

7:09 p.m. — Intros are done, Sooners on the court, Razorbacks in their final huddle.

7:06 p.m. — Students give the traditional greeting to the Sooners.

7:05 p.m. — 00:00.

7:04 p.m. — Full Court Side Club row; full student section; very few loose seats open around the arena. 1:00 to intros.

7:03 p.m. — Quality volume for the Sooners arrival on the floor. 2:00 to intros.

7:02 p.m. — Lights up, hogs on the floor and the late great Paul Eells would say — Oh My! It’s a full house, and they are all on their feet for the Hogs.

7:00 p.m. — For a lot of these fans, this is the first time they’ve seen the great moments from the past video intro; big roar for the NCAA title highlights.

6:59 p.m. — Thunderous Hog Call!.

6:58 p.m. — Miss UofA brings the house to a huge ovation with the National Anthem.

6:57 p.m. — 142nd is lined up for presentation of the colors; 8:30 on the game clock.

6:53 p.m. — Sooners clear the floor, crowd starting to fill in the lower bowl. Upper deck looks very full.

6:48 p.m. — Grand entry for the band, cheer and poms — gets the crowd moving again; 16 00 on the clock to intros.

6:44 p.m. — Razorback band heads out to get ready for their entrance.

6:43 p.m. — Sooners step onto the floor for formal warmup; mild "boo" from students. 22:00 to go.

6:42 p.m. — Along with the ribbon boards, the "bally hoo" spots are rolling around the arena. It really gives a new feel to the arena.

6:40 p.m. — Speaking of tickets, single game ducats are available through the website.

6:39 p.m. — This just in: Fans are outside the doors holding up two, three, four fingers — and they’re not selling. Told you this would be a hard ticket. Good times.

6:36 p.m. — Entering Bud Walton Arena, THEEEEEEEESE are the AAAAARRRRKAAANNNNSAS RAAAAAAAAAAAZORBACKS. We’ve got 27:45 on the arena clock to intros.

6:35 p.m. — From Harry King with Stephens to Wally Hall from the ADG, the statewide media is here in force tonight. Also, we see the Little Rock TV — it’s a full contingent.

6:32 p.m. — Blair Cartright’s special promotional commercial for the Pontiac Game Changing Play of the Year just ran on the video screens. The arena grew quiet as Casey Dick dropped back to pass, and came to a full roar when London Crawford pulled down the score.

6:31 p.m. — Razorback HogWild Band director Jeremy Prichard is instructing the student section on how to use the rally towels they were provided tonight. He has them up and waving the towels. Moving section to section to give some special instructions.

6:30 p.m. — Miss University of Arkansas, crown and sash, is in the house; wonder if she’s singing the National Anthem tonight?

6:29 p.m. — Razorbacks have headed back to the locker room; the Sooners are out on the floor doing their formal stretching.

6:28 p.m. — Student section is three-quarters full — only some of the high Trough seats near the band are left, and the students are still flowing into the area.

6:25 p.m. — Believe it or not, almost one hour of blog time has passed without me reminding you to vote for the Razorbacks in the Pontiac Game Changing Play of the Year. Go to the story on our front page, or direct to pontiac.com/ncaa

6:15 p.m. — I can hear the band making its way around the upper concourse. The ribbon boards are running, and it really gives a new depth to the facility.

6:00 p.m. — The 60 minute clock has yet to start, the Sooners are now on the floor for their informal shooting warmups.

5:56 p.m. — The game is on TV tonight in the state of Arkansas on our RSP stations. If you are accessing the game tonight with your RazorVision account, let’s remind you of some important things. First, please make sure you browser of choice and your Flash plug-in are up to date. Several folks with difficulty over the past few weeks — their buffering issues were related to these resent updates in both browsers and Flash. Second, if you are just signing up tonight — PLEASE — get signed up as soon as you can to make sure you are solid in the system.

5:50 p.m. — Razorbacks on the court for informal warm-ups; no Sooners yet.

5:35 p.m. — Obviously, having the #4 team in the house causes a lot of excitement, but this is the first time for the Sooners in Fayetteville since 2001-02.

5:20 p.m. — I know many of you aren’t interested in the insider stuff, but the media room is already full. Tonight will likely be the first time the new media section is filled.

5:10 p.m. — Fans attending tonight’s game will get a big surprise. The ribbon board is operational a few days earlier than expected.

5:00 p.m. — Doors are open, and the loyal Trough students are on the front row.

4:45 p.m. — We’re 15 minutes to doors for tonight’s game. Remember, the game is live on the RSP stations across Arkansas, and streaming live for RazorVision members.

4:37 p.m. — Greetings from the Bud Walton Arena media seats. Tonight, John Pelphrey’s Razorbacks host the #4 Sooners of Oklahoma. Judging from the traffic outside the building and the talk around town, this could be a full-house; hard-ticket night.



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