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No. 10 Florida Gators give coach Billy Donovan his 400th victory in 96-70 win over Stetson Hatters

Billy Donovan, chatting with Patric Young during a second-half timeout, is the youngest active coach to reach 400 wins.

Associated Press

Billy Donovan, chatting with Patric Young during a second-half timeout, is the youngest active coach to reach 400 wins.

ORLANDO — Billy Donovan literally dripped with joy after the No. 10 Gators' 96-70 win over Stetson.

He has never coached a minute of football in his 16 seasons as Florida's coach, but he got football-caliber treatment from his players in the form of a Gatorade bath on the Amway Center court sideline in the seconds after he earned his 400th career win.

But as the youngest active coach to reach that milestone and with a young team that is continuing to show signs of improvement early this season, it's a cleaning bill he said he won't mind paying at all.

"I think more about the guys who were here and the guys that have come through (the program)," Donovan, 46, said. "It's not just the NBA guys, it's the really quality kids that I've coached for a period of time."

Freshman Bradley Beal had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Erving Walker added 21 to lead the Gators (5-1) in the neutral court matchup. Chris Perez had 20 points to lead the Hatters (3-3).

Retired NBA player Jason Williams, who played for Donovan at UF, was courtside, and Donovan said former standout Chandler Parsons also spoke to the team before game. He said that kind of lineage is what he's most proud of.

"It's definitely a reflection that time is moving on and you're getting older," he said.

Even with a prime time matchup with No. 5 Syracuse Friday looming for the Gators, it was clear early Monday that they weren't looking ahead.

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

The Gators went into the game a little battered on the injury front after starting forward Erik Murphy tore the meniscus in his right knee in practice. Swingman Casey Prather had a groin strain but played against the Hatters.

Will Yeguete started in Murphy's place for the second straight game and finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

10 Florida 96

Stetson 70

No. 10 Florida Gators give coach Billy Donovan his 400th victory in 96-70 win over Stetson Hatters 11/28/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8:46am]
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