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Second-half rally stuns No. 7 Texas 67-61

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Second-half rally stuns No. 7 Texas 67-61

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Michael Washington’s dunk with 22 seconds left capped an Arkansas (12-1) come-from-behind victory over No. 7 Texas, 67-61, Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena. The junior forward’s slam was two of his game-high 22 points, leading a trio of Hogs in double figures in the upset win.

Courtney Fortson had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for his third double-double effort of the season and Stefan Welsh added 20 points against the Longhorns. Arkansas’ defense held its opponent to 34.8 percent shooting from the floor and limited A.J. Abrams to three-of-16 shooting. The senior guard was held scoreless until the 9:49 mark of the second half.

The win is Arkansas’ second over a top-10 team this season and the club’s 43rd consecutive non-conference victory at home. The Razorbacks also extended their winning streak to 10 for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

After trailing by as much as eight early in the second half, the Razorbacks chipped away at the Texas (11-3) lead until a pair of free throws pulled them back within two points with 13:01 to play. The foul charged to the Longhorns was their seventh of the half and put Arkansas in the bonus for the remainder of the game.

Texas took a six-point lead, 52-46, on a Damion James jumper with 9:05 remaining in the game, but the Hogs answered with an 11-0 run and led by five, 57-52, with five and a half minutes left. The final six points of the run were scored on a pair of three-point plays by Washington and Fortson.

The Longhorns tied the score, 57-57, with a put back but Arkansas held off its former Southwest Conference foe with a 10-4 run over the final 3:50 of the game.

During the first half, neither team was able to find a rhythm on the offensive end of the floor. The Razorbacks connected on just 10 of their 34 shots (29.4 percent) and Texas made 11 of their 35 shots (31.4) in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Rotnei Clarke put in a three pointer at the 15:06 mark to give the home team a 13-6 lead. The Longhorns responded with a 10-3 run to tie the game at 16 with 11:29 left in the half. Arkansas’ offense stalled, going more than six minutes without a field goal, but only trailed by five, 27-22, when Welsh knocked in a jumper with 4:38 to play in the first half.

The teams’ respective leading scorers were quiet over the game’s opening half. Washington scored seven points, but played just nine minutes after picking up two fouls, while Abrams missed his seven first-half attempts.

Texas led, 31-27, at halftime, the fifth time this season the Razorbacks have trailed at the break.

Arkansas returns to action with a Jan. 10 contest against Mississippi State to open SEC play. The game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start from Bud Walton Arena and will be televised by FSN. For more information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Basketball (M)