Washington Highlights Night

FAYETTEVILLE — Michael Washington took a pass at the top of the key, and seeing that the lane was wide open, decided to attack the basket.

The junior raced through the paint and lifted up for a two-handed dunk that became an instant hit on ESPN and capped Arkansas' 67-61 win over No. 7 Texas in Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday night.

As soon as Washington came down after dunking over Texas forward Damion James with 22.5 seconds remaining, the Southeastern Conference's reigning player of the week pretended to use his hands as pistols and fired into the crowd.

He showed a national TV audience how to take care of the Longhorns.

"Basically, I knew we were up by like five," said Washington, whose free throw following the dunk extended the Razorbacks' lead to 65-61. "So basically, I just wanted to win the game, really."

Washington overcame foul trouble that limited him to only nine minutes in the first half to score a game-high 22 points, grab nine rebounds and make the play of the night.

It didn't take long for ESPN to name Washington's dunk while getting fouled as a "Gym Gem," and it was likely to be named one of ESPN's plays of the night.

"I thought Washington had a terrific game," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "... We didn't have an answer for him."

Washington got off to a fast start, grabbing five rebounds in the first six minutes of the game. But a pair of quick fouls forced him to spend all but nine minutes in the first half on the bench.

He scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half, and he showed his versatility when he was forced to launch a 3-pointer as the shot clock was winding down with 8:24 remaining.

Washington's shot bounced around the rim, then fell in to cut Texas' lead to 52-49.

"Basically, I was just praying for it to go in," Washington said. "That's all I was doing."

Said Arkansas guard Courtney Fortson: "All of us was."

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