It was the Erving Walker show down the stretch as the tiny Gator point guard scored 21 points while leading Florida to a 73-65 victory over UCLA. Walker scored 12 of the last 14 points for the Gators including an off balance bank shot over UCLA's Joshua Smith and a crucial three after a near Bruin steal.
UCLA can look no further than its on free throw shooting as a deciding factor in the loss. The Bruins were but 16-25 from the free throw line and missed a couple of big front ends of one in ones late.
In addition to Walker's 21 points, Kenny Boynton scored 12 points while Vernon Macklin added 10. Boynton left the game late in the second half after suffering an ankle injury. He briefly returned before leaving the game once again this time for good. His status will be something to keep an eye on for the next round of the tournament.
UCLA was led by Smith's 16 points. Reeves Nation also had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Malcolm Lee netted 14 points in the loss.
The Gators advance to the sweet sixteen where they will play the winner of tonight's game between Gonzaga and BYU.