Stetson 61

(2-2, 0-2 away)

(2) Florida 74

(5-0, 3-0 home)

    12:00 PM ET, December 6, 2003

    Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida

    1 2 T
    STET 25 3661
    #2FLA 37 3774

    Gators completed 3 games in 5 days

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida coach Billy Donovan found little to nitpick over Saturday. He liked the way his second-ranked Gators performed in their 74-61 victory over Stetson.

    Anthony Roberson scored 18 points to lift the Gators (5-0) to their third victory over an in-state opponent in five days. Where Donovan criticized the defense in a 102-78 win over Florida A&M and the offense in a 59-39 win over Central Florida, he was pretty happy with the latest victory.

    "Our biggest problem today was our guys did what I asked them to do -- make the extra pass," Donovan said. "At times they over-passed too much. They got the right idea as far as what they're trying to do. The execution just needs to get better."

    Dating to last Friday's win over No. 7 Arizona, the Gators played their fourth game in nine days. Next up is a marquee matchup, Wednesday against Maryland.

    Stetson, meanwhile, played its glamour game Saturday.

    Anthony Register and Kevin Craig each had 15 points for Stetson (2-2). E.J. Gordon added 11 points, and the Hatters had more scorers in double figures than Florida, but they shot only 35.8 percent while the Gators hit 49 percent.

    Stetson's two victories have come against Flagler and Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, neither of which is in Division I.

    Given the upgrade in opponent, coach Derek Waugh wasn't upset.

    "Our goal was to get it within 10 points with five minutes left," he said. "We weren't able to accomplish that, but I give our guys a lot of credit. We brought the fight in us."

    Stetson was as close as 33-25 late in the first half, but the Gators held the Hatters scoreless for the last 3:38 before the break, then pulled away quickly in the second half.

    Forward David Lee added 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds in 26 minutes for Florida. Coming off an ankle injury that hobbled him against Central Florida, and leg cramps that have decreased his effectiveness all season, he was 7-for-9 from the field against undersized Stetson.

    The Gators have three 6-foot-9 starters, and the Hatters have nobody taller than 6-8.

    "My legs felt good today," Lee said. "My ankle was a little bit sore and stiff because it was an early game, but the cramping is headed in the right direction. I'm just keeping my legs warm at halftime."

    While this was another expectedly easy win, there was still some sloppiness involved.

    Matt Walsh had eight assists, but he also committed six of Florida's 20 turnovers. Many came while he tried to make nifty passes where more basic ones would have sufficed.

    It worked once, though, when the sophomore forward threw a nifty no-look pass to Lee for a lay-up on a fast break. It helped the Gators expand their lead to as many as 25 points in the second half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    » Dec 6, 2003 @FLA 74, STET 61Recap