FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Gary Ervin stood near the Arkansas bench, holding up the No. 1 sign with his left hand. Teammate Charles Thomas strutted off the court behind him.
The Razorbacks led eighth-ranked Alabama by 34 points late in the second half, and they were loving every minute of it.
Ervin had 18 points and 11 assists, and Thomas added 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead Arkansas to an 88-61 rout of the Crimson Tide on Saturday. The Razorbacks scored the game's first 14 points and led by as many as 36 in the second half.
Patrick Beverley and Sonny Weems both scored 18 points for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks (12-3, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) finished with 10 blocked shots, including three by 7-footer Steven Hill in the early going that set the tone. The Crimson Tide (13-2, 0-1) lost its SEC opener for the fourth straight season.
AUBURN 68, VANDERBILT 65
In Auburn, Ala., Rasheem Barret scored a game-high 22 points as Auburn held off Vanderbilt for a 68-65 victory in both teams' conference opener Saturday night.
Auburn (11-5, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) led 38-31 at the half. Josh Dollard and Korvotney Barber had 12 points each to round out the double-digit scoring for the Tigers.
Vanderbilt (10-5, 0-1) was led by Dan Cage with 19 points and Shan Foster added 14 for the Commodores.
It was a close game throughout with the lead changing eight times and eight tied scores. Barber broke a 61-61 tie on a layup with 3:05 left to play and the Tigers never trailed again.
Vanderbilt pulled within one, 66-65, when Jermaine Beal made both free throws after being fouled by Barber.