Fast Start, Tough Finish For Washington

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The way Michael Washington started Wednesday night's game at Alabama, a career-best performance from the junior forward seemed possible.

Washington scored seven of Arkansas' first 10 points, helping the Razorbacks build their only lead during Alabama's 88-67 victory Wednesday night in Coleman Coliseum. Unfortunately for the Hogs, Washington produced little after his initial success.

He finished with 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds, but Arkansas coach John Pelphrey didn't come away disappointed in Washington's effort.

"Mike scored some plays early and then they started double-teaming him," Pelphrey said. "Then, he had three assists later in the half. So I thought Mike did a good job there."

Washington opened the game's scoring with a tough three-point play underneath the basket. His layup off a behind-the-back pass by freshman point guard Courtney Fortson put the Razorbacks up 8-3, and his running hook shot gave Arkansas its last lead at 10-8.

He had only one point the rest of the first half, however, and added only four more after halftime. Washington also only grabbed one offensive rebound during Wednesday's contest.

In the second half, Washington attempted just three shots, even though Fortson said "it wasn't hard" to get him the ball.

Two Technicals

Fortson was called for a technical foul at the 17:28 mark of the second half with Arkansas losing 54-30. He celebrated too emphatically, bumping into Alabama's Justin Knox, after making a layup and drawing a Knox foul.

"That was indirect contact," Fortson said. "I was just trying to show emotion with the and-one."

Only 21 seconds later, Pelphrey wanted a foul called and was whistled for a technical foul — his sixth this season. Fortson also drew a technical during Arkansas' other trip to the state of Alabama, at Auburn.

Student's Plea

The Crimson Tide has now played eight games with Philip Pearson as its interim coach. Longtime coach Mark Gottfried resigned under pressure last month, and one student wanted to make his choice for a permanent replacement known.

His homemade sign was short and to the point.

"Please hire Anthony Grant," the large sign read, referring to the Virginia Commonwealth coach and former Florida assistant alongside Pelphrey.


• Arkansas freshman Jason Henry took a knock to the head at some point in the first half and stumbled off to the locker room at halftime. He didn't play in Wednesday's second half. Henry was the second Razorback off the bench but scored only two points in 11 first-half minutes.

• Fortson, who finished with a team-high 21 points, had his "mother, brother, sisters and friends" in the crowd from his hometown of Montgomery.

• All 11 players who suited up for Alabama scored, including senior walk-on Greg Cage.

Up Next

The Razorbacks will face Georgia at 3:05 p.m. Sunday in Fayetteville. Arkansas will honor the 1994 national championship team that day in Bud Walton Arena, as well.

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