MEN'S BASKETBALL: Razorbacks Point Guard Supe

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas point guard Gary Ervin played a zestfully clean game against No. 20 Florida in Bud Walton Arena on Saturday afternoon.

He didn't clutter up the court with silly mistakes and leave a mess for others to clean up against the two-time defending national champions.

Maybe he was campaigning for more playing time with a lot of intelligence during his team's 80-61 victory in front of a loud crowd of 19,881, which also played a vital role.

Ervin, a 6-foot senior from Brooklyn, N.Y., tied a season-high with 6 assists, scored 15 points and only turned it over twice, and not once in the first half.

So, what was his secret?

"I was just being aggressive, that's the thing," Ervin said. "When you play timid sometimes like I did the last couple of games, then turnovers are going to happen. But when I stay aggressive and stay in the attack mode, then that's some of the good things I can do.

"Coach said from now on, attack. I've a very good free throw shooter. Coach said get to the line, get in that paint, finish or kick it out to a 3-point shooter."

Ervin was 5 of 9 from the floor and 5 of 6 from the free-throw line, which accounted for all his points.

More importantly was his ability to take care of the basketball.

"Gary played real well," Razorbacks forward Darian Townes said. "He's playing like a point guard should play, not making a lot of turnovers, throwing a lot of good passes, a lot of good feeds and he was going to the basket really strong today.

"He was finishing."

Arkansas swingman Sonny Weems also noticed.

"You know, he's a great player," Weems said. "Even though he's not been starting, he's been giving us quality minutes off the bench. His best asset is off the bench.

"He helps us a lot."

It was the second-straight win for the Razorbacks against a Top 25 team. Up next is No. 24 Ole Miss, which comes into Bud Walton Arena next Saturday.

"Coach just told us to go out there and play hard for 40 minutes," Ervin said. "You know, we'll have a week to prepare for a very good Ole Miss team, so just go out there and leave everything on the court.

"I think we did a great job of doing that."

Ervin said the crowd did a great job, too.

"Oh, it was unbelievable," Ervin said. "It was a great experience, especially for the younger guys. We talked about it. Wait until a great team like Florida, the defending two-time national champion, comes in here. It's going to be a sellout crowd.

"And the crowd did it's job."

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