Too much of Florida’s little man and not enough floor time for

Arkansas’ biggest man reduced the Razorbacks to a 71-66 SEC loss late Thursday night

 at Walton Arena.

Too much of Florida’s little man and not enough floor time for
Arkansas’ biggest man reduced the Razorbacks to a 71-66 SEC loss late Thursday night
 at Walton Arena.

Erving Walker, the Gators’ 5-8  sophomore point guard averaging 12.1 points, scored
a game-leading 27 points, including big baskets down the stretch, to up Florida to
13-5, 2-2 in the SEC East.

Arkansas dropped to 8-10, 1-2 in the SEC West and faces a rough SEC road traveling
Saturday to nationally No. 2 Kentucky, the nation’s lone unbeaten team.
Arkansas was hampered Thursday night by senior 6-9 All-SEC forward’s Michael
Washington foul trouble in both halves.

Washington’s controversial fourth foul, called when one official overruled  another,
especially drew Arkansas fans’ ire and prompted Washington to sit from 11:25 until
6:04 after playing only four first-half minutes.

“One guy had him (Florida’s Alex Tyus) out of bounds,” Arkansas coach John Pelphrey
said. “And the other guy had him (Washington) pushing him (Tyus) out of bounds.”

Washington still had 11 points and six rebounds but only played 19 minutes as the
Hogs were demolished 42-29 on the boards.

“Mike getting limited hurt us,” Pelphrey said. “The story of the game was we
couldn’t rebound. Florida hurt us on the boards and they did last year when they
beat us in Gainesville.”

Rebounding and Walker enabled the Gators to win despite shooting only 22 of 62 for
35 percent from the field.
Walker was 5 of 6 on treys.

“Walker hit some big shots,” both Pelphrey and Florida coach Billy Donovan said.

Both coaches lauded their own and the opposition’s defense, especially for the
28-26 first half.

“We won in a tough place to play,” Donovan said. “Arkansas played very good defense.
The key was we kept them off the glass.”

Rotnei Clarke led Arkansas with 17 points while point guard Courtney Fortson and
forward Marshaen Powell scored 14 each.

Clarke hit 5 of 9 treys despite finding Gators at every turn.

“I’ve seen some phenomenal shooters,” Donovan said, “and he is as good as I’ve seen.
He can shoot on the move, I’ve never seen a guy fly around off screens and shoot
like that.”

Freshman guard Kenny Boynton, Florida’s leading scorer going into the game, scored
13 and Gators forward Alex Tyus scored 11.

Arkansas had rallied from an 8-point deficit during the second half to take leads
but never caught up after a Walker bucket put the Gators up 60-56 with 5:11 left.

Walker’s bucket was part of a 9-0 Florida run that included an Arkansas “missed
assignment” Pelphrey said when no Razorback broke for Marcus Britt inbounding an
Arkansas pass leading directly to a Florida dunk.

“I think that was the only runout we had,” Donovan said. “
Point guard Walker milked the first-half clock down to the last five seconds before
hitting the jumper to snap a 26-26 tie and give Florida a 28-26 intermission lead.
Arkansas led most of the half, peaking at five, 24-19 when freshman reserve forward
Glenn Bryant stunned the Gators was successive 3-pointers.

Florida’s only first half leads were 2-0 and 4-2 before Walker snapped the 26-all

Known as a good scorer but primarily an assists man, 5-8 point Walker led the
Gators’ first-half attack with 28 points.
Arkansas senior All-SEC forward  Washington picked up two quick fouls and missed the
first half’s final 12:17 and played but four first-half minutes.

Bryant and JC transfer Delvon Johnson, seven first-half rebounds between them though
Florida won the first-half boards 21-16, did an admirable job picking up
Washington’s first-half slack.

Nobody could stop the Gators from erasing the second half boards.