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NOW THE RAZORS HAVE THE EDGE
Larry Keith
February 13, 1978
It was high-ranked Texas and high-ranked Arkansas in a good old Southwest Conference shoot-out—except this time the sport was basketball. The Hogs avenged this season's only loss, but not before the 'Horns nearly hooked 'em
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February 13, 1978

Now The Razors Have The Edge

It was high-ranked Texas and high-ranked Arkansas in a good old Southwest Conference shoot-out—except this time the sport was basketball. The Hogs avenged this season's only loss, but not before the 'Horns nearly hooked 'em

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"Each of us knows our role, and we don't try to take over anybody else's," says Moncrief. "On some clubs, players get mad at each other and friction starts. But there's none of that here. The only thing that bothers me is when people talk about how intense I am, as if intensity is all I have. I'd like to think I've got a little basketball talent."

More than a little, to be sure, because he leads the Hogs in both scoring (17.8) and rebounding (8.4). Numbers that high do not come from mere doggedness. Brewer is tops in steals and is averaging 17.5 points per game, while Delph is a phenomenal 57% shooter from anywhere in the Ozarks and carries a 16.8 average. Help comes from two big men: 6'11" Steve Schall (11 points, six rebounds) and 6'7" Jim Counce, a demon on defense.

Before last week's game, Sutton thought that his team might win by 20 to 25 points. "We've got everything in our favor," he said, and it was hard to dispute him. In addition to the revenge motive, Arkansas had a 19-1 record, the best in the country, a 25-game home victory streak and the psychological advantage of knowing it had to win to draw even with Texas in the conference race. Furthermore, the Razorbacks were playing with three days' rest, while the travel-weary, flu-bugged Longhorns had played and won four games—by a total of only 10 points—in the previous eight days. Most important of all, as even Lemons admitted, " Arkansas has the best team in the league." Did Texas have anything in its favor? "Oh, yeah," said Abe, taking on the whole town of Fayetteville, "after the game we can go home, and they have to stay here."

The prospect of seeing the hated Long-horns in Barnhill Arena had the Arkansas campus in a dither. When the last 500 tickets went on sale the day of the game, 1,500 undergraduates stormed the student center and did $1,000 worth of damage. To keep the frenzy at a high pitch, the Arkansas cheerleaders staged a pep rally just before the game and everyone placed an order for that Chinese delicacy, "Woo Pig Sooie."

Against all these odds, Texas battled to a 41-38 lead at the half and stretched it to 53-42 before five minutes were gone in the second half. Then Arkansas came back in a rush, led by unlikely heroes Schall and freshman Ulysses Reed, and a very likely one in Delph. Schall and Reed each scored eight points in the second half, and Delph made 14 of 21 shots for a game-high 30 as Arkansas won 75-71.

There was much rejoicing among the Razorbacks, which prompted Lemons to note sourly, "We must be getting better. You would have thought they had beaten the Celtics. After the game here last year they hissed us."

Nobody hissed this time, but Schall did say, "When we lost to them at Texas, I think it made them think they were better than they really are. Now I believe we've brought them down to size."

Still, neither team has beaten the other soundly, and it will probably take the finals of the conference tournament to determine the SWC champ. Sutton insists that his team is much the better of the two and will prove it there, but Lemons is starting to act as if he is not so sure about Arkansas' being too powerful for Texas. The Southwest Conference went 34 years without a basketball shootout of national significance, and now it could have three in one season. That's two more than Darrell and Frank had in even their best years.

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