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Donovan is now the winningest head coach in school history with 236 victories at Florida.

Wednesday December 20, 2006Billy Donovan Becomes the Winningest Head Coach in Florida History with 88-67 Win Over Stetson

Gainesville, FL

Donovan is now the winningest head coach in school history with 236 victories at Florida.

Billy Donovan became the winningest head coach in University of Florida history picking up his 236th win at Florida on Wednesday night, as the fifth-ranked Gators (10-2) defeated the Stetson Hatters (3-8) 88-67 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

 

Sophomore Walter Hodge (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) tied a season-high with a team-best 17 points including a perfect 5-for-5 on three-pointers to lead the way for the Gators. Hodge’s five three pointers were a season-best and tied a career-high. As a team, Florida shot 53.3 percent (8-for-15) from beyond the arc and have now made 89 three pointers over the last 10 games. Senior Lee Humphrey (Maryville, Tenn.) also connected for a three pointer stretching his streak to 11-straight games with at least one three pointer.

 

In addition to Hodge, four other Gators scored in double figures. Junior Joakim Noah (New York, N.Y.) finished the night second on the team in scoring with 16 points while falling just short of a double-double by pulling down eight rebounds. Junior Corey Brewer (Portland, Tenn.) threw down 15 points and also contributed five assists and six rebounds. Junior Taurean Green (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) dropped 11 points and for the second game in a row contributed a season-high eight assists.

 

The final Gator to score in double figures was freshman Dan Werner (Middletown, N.J.), who netted a career-high 10 points including the go ahead three pointer in the first half. Werner also set a career-high with six rebounds on the night. As a team, Florida hit the boards for 34 rebounds including 11 on offense to mark the ninth time this season the Gators have finished with double figures in offensive rebounds.

 

Stetson opened up the game going on a 7-0 run, and the Hatters held the lead until Werner hit the go ahead three pointer to give the Gators an 18-17 edge with 13:24 remaining in the first period. Werner’s basket provided the game’s only lead change and sparked a 9-0 Florida run that built the advantage to 24-17. After the teams exchanged a couple of baskets, Florida went on an 11-0 run that stretched the lead to 37-21. The Gators entered the locker room at the half up 44-30 with three players, Hodge, Brewer and Noah, tied for the team lead in scoring with eight points a piece.

 

The title of Florida’s winningest head coach was previously held by Norm Sloan with 235 wins. Donovan’s record setting victory at the helm for the Gators came in just 336 games while Sloan’s mark was set in his 427th game coached. Overall, Sloan coached 429 games for the Gators.

 

The win over Stetson also improves the Gators to 43-5 all-time against in-state competition under Donovan and 4-1 this season.

 

Stetson’s leading scorer, Garfield Blair, finished the night with a game-high 18 points, tying a career-high. Blair had 16 points on 7-of-11 from the field in the first half, but was held to just two points in the second half. Freshman Sheldon Oliver also performed well for the Hatters scoring 14 points.

 

Up next, the Gators play host to third-ranked Ohio State (10-1) on Saturday, Dec. 23. The game will mark just the second ever meeting between two top-five schools at the O’Connell Center. Tip off is set for 4:00 p.m. ET.

 

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