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Ervin, Arkansas shock Vanderbilt in regular-season finale

Mar 4, 2007 - 12:35 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Gary Ervin helped Arkansas enter postseason play with some confidence.

Ervin scored 21 points and freshman Patrick Beverley added 20 as the Razorbacks concluded the regular season in the Southeastern Conference with an 82-67 upset of No. 23 Vanderbilt.

Reserve Michael Washington added 15 points for Arkansas (18-12, 7-9 SEC West), which snapped a three-game conference road losing streak, finishing up 2-6 away from home in SEC play.

"What a great performance by the Razorbacks," Arkansas coach Stan Heath said. "I thought we got tremendous effort from every one of our kids, top to bottom. To come in here and get a win the way we did against a very good Vanderbilt team is a very positive sign for our team."

"There is nothing like winning on the road," Ervin said. "It's always great to come in and be a spoiler, on their Senior Day and last home game of the year. We played hard and this really gave us momentum heading into the SEC Tournament."

The regular-season finale capped a disappointing conference schedule for the Razorbacks, who began the season at 13-3. Excluding a deep run in the upcoming league tournament, Arkansas is expected to miss out on the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last six years.

With a chance to finish in sole place of second in the East Division, the Commodores (20-10, 10-6 East) were sluggish from the field throughout, finishing 32 percent (19-of-60) from the floor and 8-of-28 on 3-pointers.

"I'm disappointed in how we played today," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "We didn't shoot well and we didn't defend well. We didn't deserve to win.

"I'm not concerned about our shooting. We hit 16 threes a couple of nights ago. I'm just disappointed in our performance and I wish I had done a better job of getting them ready to play."

While the Commodores struggled, the Razorbacks shot 50 percent (14-of-28) in the first half en route to taking a 38-26 lead at the break.

Ervin, who finished 6-of-10 from the field, opened the second half with a 3-pointer and later split two free throws. Washington sandwiched a dunk and a jumper around a 3-pointer by Dan Cage for a 46-31 advantage with 16:20 remaining.

The Commodores, who missed out on going undefeated at home in the SEC for the first time since 1992-93, pulled no closer than five points down the stretch.

Beverley converted 10-of-11 free throws and grabbed 10 rebounds for Arkansas, which finished 79 percent (27-of-34) at the stripe and held a 42-30 advantage on the boards.

Derrick Byars scored 19 points and Cage added 15 for Vanderbilt, which was outscored in the paint, 26-14, en route to losing for the first time in three games.

    --- --- -----
    ARKANSAS 38 44 82
    VANDERBILT (23) 26 41 67 FINAL

    Mar 3 3:09 PM


    Mar 3 1:51 PM