There was no Colt McCoy, Quan Cosby or even A.J. Abrams to save the University of Texas on Tuesday night.
And the University of Arkansas - the consensus pre-season pick for the for the SEC basement – has now taken down the best 2 basketball teams in the Big 12 who just happen to be top 10 teams nationally.
Michael Washington capped off a 22-point, 9-rebound performance with a highlight-worthy dunk with 22.5 seconds left as the Razorbacks downed the No. 7 Longhorns 67-61 before 19,012 fans at Bud Walton Arena.
"We feel very, very fortunate to win this basketball game," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "We understand how good Texas is.
"...If you can just get out there and play hard and have a good attitude and keep the game close, some magical things can happen for you," Pelphrey added. "I'm not going to sit here and tell we are better than Texas - I don't know if I believe that - but we didn't have to be tonight to win the basketball game...Tonight was our night."
It was the 10th straight win for the Razorbacks (12-1), who took down then No. 4 Oklahoma the previous Tuesday before another 19,000-plus crowd.
Stefan Welsh added 20 points and Courtney Fortson 13 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists to lead the take down of Texas (11-3) and happened with former Arkansas head coach Eddie Sutton - who talked to the team earlier in the day - and former Oklahoma State head coach Sean Sutton in attendance.
It also included current Razorback sophomore tight end D.J. Williams, who was all painted up in Arkansas colors in the front row of the student section.
"It was a battle of two good teams and we were fortunate to win," Pelphrey said. "It was a defensive battle and with 20,000 people behind us that put us over the edge. Razorback Nation really helped us, we couldn't have won without them."
Welsh had a huge 3-pointer with the game tied 57-57 with just under four minutes left. He inbounded the ball and then watched all the defenders run away from him.
""The play was designed to go to Courtney," Welsh said. "But they doubled him. Mike (Washington) was one-on-one in the post. We want to pound the post in that situation. And, he kicked it right back to me. No one was within 25 yards of me."
Washington, a man of few words who said he was praying the shot went in, was brilliant down low.
"I just wanted to win," Washington said.
Pelphrey certainly sees that.
"I think he had an unbelievable commitment level at the beginning of the summer, got bigger and stronger," Pelphrey said. "He really improved and he is committed to playing every single possession. Those are things he had to work to do, improve on those areas...The thing I like most about Mike is that all he cares about is winning."
The Razorbacks fell down 52-46 before going on an 11-0 run to take the lead only to then find itself tied 57-57.
"We are not as deep as last year, we are not as talented, but we are tougher," Pelphrey said.
Arkansas won despite Fortson picking up two early fouls - the second coming less than three minutes into the game - and Washington doing likewise in the middle of the half.
"Courtney getting his two as quick as he did - well, I think I lost oxygen," Pelphrey said. "That is something we really had not had to deal with. Teams were shooting 38 percent against Texas coming in and I knew it was going to hard to score points and then to do it without him - but Stef stepped in and did a great job."
Fortson, who has barely made half his free throws this season, was very impressive from the line on Tuesday night going 7-for-10 as the Razorbacks went 14-of-21.
"Coach Pelphrey showed me something on film on my foul shooting," Fortson said. "On the ones I missed, my hand went out. The ones I made, it stayed in. So I just concentrated on that tonight."
While Arkansas ran the ball down Oklahoma's throats last week, they won a halfcourt game on this Tuesday.
"That shows our maturity," Welsh said. "We are showing that we have some versatility and we don't have to play at such a fast pace all the time."
Fortson agree with that assessment.
"We showed we are not (one) dimensional," Fortson said. "We know we can play that way, slow it down. We've got big Mike (Washington) down low and we can work the ball to him."
Unlike Monday night when McCoy and Cosby hooked up to rally the Texas football team past Ohio State, it was the Razorback doing the rallying on Tuesday after falling down 8 in the second half.
"John Pelphrey has done a really good job of getting them to play hard and understand their roles," Texas head coach Rick Barnes said. "Coming in, I didn't think they had been guarded like we would guard them and I think that turned out to be true.
"The problem we had was we were inept on offense," Barnes said. "We didn't make some plays in the open court that you just have to make. We got the shots we wanted. We didn't make them for whatever reason. We fumbled it in the lane. We got the ball where we wanted it and turned it over. We put the ball where we wanted it."
Arkansas hounded Abrams - averaging 19 points and considered one of the country's best shooters - into a 3-for-16 shooting night and just 1-of-8 from 3-point range.
"They did a good job of staying attached to me," Abrams said. "But basically it is the same shots that I have been hitting all year. Tonight I just wasn't knocking them down."
Damion James – who got dunked on by Washington on the game penultimate play – led the Longhorns with 17 points while Gary Johnson had 15 and Justin Mason and Dexter Pittman 10 each.
The Longhorns played without 6-10 senior forward Connor Atchley.
"Everybody knows that Connor is a key part of our offense and defense," Abrams said. "He is a senior. We could have used him. I think we missed him from a leadership standpoint."
It was a masterful defensive peformance by both clubs with Arkansas hitting just 38.7 percent from the field and Texas 34.8 percent.
The Razorbacks won because they hit 5-of-18 3-pointers while the the Longhorns were just 1-of-14 – something that offset the visitors 50-37 rebounding advantage.
It is the eighth win for Arkansas in the last nine games between the two schools who were former Southwest Conference rivals.
"After beating Oklahoma, we knew we could come out and play with anybody" Welsh said, "and we proved that."
Arkansas returns to action Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. when it hosts Mississippi State.
"This win is not three, it's one," Pelphrey said. "The season is not over...Will we win the West? I'm don't know, but we need to keep competing and try. Will we get into postseason play? I don't know. But these guys have worked hard and overachieved and we have just got to keep doing that."
Michael Washington dunks over Damion James with 22 seconds left.
Arkansas 67, No. 7 Texas 61
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