Arkansas-Florida: 40 Minutes of "Pel" Has Arrived

T.J. CarpenterContributor IFebruary 2, 2008

Forget 40 Minutes of Hell, 40 minutes of "Pel" has arrived. 

With the current winning streak that the Arkansas Razorbacks' Basketball team is on it is easy to see that John Pelphrey has figured out the formula that makes this team run.

With the Arkansas Razorbacks' (15-5) win over the No. 20 Florida Gators (18-4), it is obvious to me (and 21,000 other Arkansas fans who were in attendance) that the 40 minutes of "Pel" has arrived.

There hasn't been a single moment this season that Arkansas and Bud Walton Arena have looked more like the the 40 Minutes of Hell that made the early and mid 90's Razorback teams so much more prominent than today.  With a full house looking on in rabid fandom, the Hogs won in commanding fashion, 80 - 61.  John Pelphrey, welcome to Arkansas Basketball.

Sonny Weems scored 17 points, and Arkansas sprinted to a 25-point halftime lead. Arkansas led 46-21 at that point.  An electric crowd and a pumped Arkansas squad caught a young Florida team off guard. 

A team that was clearly not prepared for Bud Walton Arena, which lived up to its former reputation as the Basketball palace of Mid-America.

The Razorbacks shot 58 percent in the first half, but got off to a slow start in the second half, a problem for Arkansas since the LSU game.  Since the LSU win, Arkansas has looked stellar from 3 point land and dominating inside.  Florida did little to stop the trend, allowing 6'1" Patrick Beverley to get 12 boards in the game.  

Darian Townes showed up big in the second half scoring all of his 14 points in the second half.  It was obvious that the youth of a potentially talented Florida team was completely shell-shocked by the crowd at Bud Walton Arena. 

Even when the Hogs showed signs of slowing up in the second half, a block by Charles Thomas in the second half re-energized the crowd and brought the yips back to Florida's shooters.

John Pelphrey admonished the mindset of his players after the game, saying, "It was a conscious decision made by our guys...they decided to let the guy on the left of them and the guy on the right of them do more, and that helped the team."  It is a certainty that Arkansas coach John Pelphrey will keep the players on their toes until they face their next top 25 opponent, Ole Miss. 

And while we may reminisce about the old days, and the 40 Minutes of Hell, it is more than exhilarating to welcome in the 40 Minutes of Pel, which promises to be just as electrifying as it's predecessor.