Razorback Basketball seemed to be back in full force early on during the second season of the John Pelphrey era. Arkansas was 9-1 heading into the week with their only loss (62-57) coming on the road against mid-major opponent Missouri State Bears. None of the starters scored in double figures.
Fast forward one month later, the Hogs have won seven in a row going into a contest inside of a sold out Bud Walton Arena hosting the Blake Griffin led Oklahoma Sooners. Fans knew that the Hogs would give up a lot of their points to Griffin because that is what he did. What the Sooners did not know was that an unlikely hero in Marcus Mona would come up huge in this one. Scoring 12 points and holding his own against the monster in Griffin, Pelphrey exclaimed during the postgame of the performance Monk gave the Hogs despite only practicing with his team for two weeks.
The Razorbacks scored 53 points in the first half that would fuel Arkansas to its biggest non-conference home game in years. Six Razorbacks would score in double digits being led by junior Mike Washington who recorded 24 points and 11 rebounds.
The crazy thing was the Hogs led by 25 in the first half before Oklahoma made a monumental comeback on the road cutting the lead to 81-77. That was as close as the Sooners could get as Washington scored the next seven points for the Hogs to pull away and score one of the biggest upsets of the Pelphrey era.
Oklahoma was not only led by Griffin though as dangerous freshman guard, Willie Warren, scored 35 points for his second straight 30-point performance in a row.
The Sooners seemed to be a little rusty as they fell behind 21-8 before their head coach, Jeff Capel called a timeout. The early timeout did not catch the attention of the Sooners as Arkansas pushed their lead to 20 with a 37-17 lead as the Hogs’ Stefan Welsh drove to basket right past Griffin that led to a layup and sent Bud Walton into a frenzy.
After two fouls in ten seconds by fellow Sooner Tony Crocker, his emotion along the bench was received with a technical foul. That led to the Razorbacks best shooter in freshman guard Rotnei Clarke shot two free throws to extend the lead to 41-20 and the Hogs were rolling.
Arkansas extended their huge lead even more as they led 72-47 before Oklahoma went on a surprising 16-0 run to pull the lead to single digits and drew as close as they would get for the game.
Seemingly trapped at mid-court, the Hogs Courtney Fortson was stuck and looked like he would turn the ball over. Then, he heaved the ball down court and found Washington at the basket for a dunk.
Washington would make two more baskets down the stretch to seal the victory over the Sooners. Arkansas would go onto win the ball game 96-88. All of the Razorback starters scored in double figures as did Monk off the bench.
Check our the win below via WarMachine013 on YouTube:
Michael Sanchez: 12 points, 6 rebounds
Michael Washington: 24 points 11 rebounds
Stefan Welsh: 19 points, 5 rebounds
Rotnei Clark: 15 points, 3/4 from 3 point land
Courtney Fortson: 12 points, 10 assists, 8 reb.
Marcus Monk: 12 points, 6 rebounds