Donovan Rakes in 400th Win

Florida's Billy Donovan earned his 400th career coaching victory as the Gators rode a 16-point halftime lead to a 96-70 win over Stetson on Monday night.

Brad Beal had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Erving Walker added 21 to lead the Gators (5-1) in the neutral court matchup at Amway Center. The Hatters (3-3) were led by Chris Perez with 20 points.

Stetson stayed close early on before a 23-4 Gators' run midway through the first half blew the game open. Florida relied on its outside shooting during the spurt, knocking down eight 3-pointers in the half and 14 for the game.

The Gators came into Monday night a little battered on the injury front after starting forward Erik Murphy tore the meniscus in his right knee in practice . Swingman Casey Prather was also nursing a groin strain, but did suit up against the Hatters.

Will Yeguete started in Murphy's place for the second straight game.

Even with a short bench the Gators still attack the Hatters with their press on defense and were pretty effective keeping them off balance with Stetson committing 12 turnovers in the first half alone. Florida also had 14 steals in the game.

It all helped Florida get several open looks in transition from the outside and the Gators took advantage of them.

Florida took a 16-point lead into the break, but led by as many as 22 in the opening 20 minutes.

The Gators kept their cushion by connecting on 8 of 20 shots from beyond the arc in the half, while Stetson knocked down just 1 of 10 attempts.

Stetson trailed just 15-12 early on before Florida went on a 23-4 run that made it 38-16. The Hatters held 18-17 rebounding edge, though, and responded with a 13-0 run to get within nine before the Gators ended the period on a 9-2 spurt.

Beal had three of Florida's first-half 3's and led all scorers with 12 points. Diaz and Green paced Stetson with nine points apiece.


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