TAMPA, Fla. — Florida's little man Erving Walker came up big again, scoring 21 points and hitting several clutch shots down the stretch as the Gators beat UCLA 73-65 in the NCAA tournament Saturday.
Walker scored 10 of his team's final 12 points, including four free throws in the final 33 seconds. His most significant basket was a 3-pointer with about a minute remaining. That shot gave the second-seeded Gators (28-7) a 69-65 lead and forced the No. 7 seed Bruins (23-11) into desperation mode.
UCLA wasted chances from the free-throw line, much like it did Thursday against Michigan State. The Bruins survived that one. They had no such luck against Florida.
Kenny Boynton added 12 points and five assists for the Gators. Alex Tyus chipped in eight points and a season-high 13 rebounds.
Josh Smith and Reeves Nelson led UCLA with 16 points apiece.