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Gators completed 3 games in 5 days

12/6/2003

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.