GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Billy Donovan still can't beat his former mentor and coach. He never even had a lead this time.
Taquan Dean scored 22 points and Francisco Garcia added 19 and five steals as 14th-ranked Louisville never trailed in a 74-70 victory over Florida.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino improved to 6-0 against Donovan, who played for Pitino at Providence and with the New York Knicks. Donovan also served as an assistant under Pitino at Kentucky from 1989-94.
Last season, the Cardinals beat Florida at Louisville, 73-65. Donovan twice lost to Pitino's Kentucky teams while at Marshall and twice at Florida. Pitino is 20-1 against former assistants and players.
Pitino's teams are known for their 3-point shooting and pressing defense and the Cardinals used that formula to beat Donovan again. Louisville (5-1) converted 7-of-16 from 3-point range in the first half alone while the Gators made just 4-of-22 from behind the arc for the game.
"If we make the 3-pointers we usually make, then we win this game," said Florida's Matt Walsh, who made just 3-of-11 shots and missed all four of his 3-point attempts.
Garcia was the best defensive player on the floor, disrupting Florida (5-2) with his pass deflections and five steals. The 6-7 junior forward also had eight rebounds and four assists.
"Francisco was all over the floor today," Pitino said. "He and Taquan Dean really dictated the way this game was going to be played."
The Cardinals hit 5-of-6 shots and raced to an 11-2 lead in the first 2:47. Florida pulled within one point on three occasions, but never could take the lead.
"We were constantly fighting, but we couldn't get over the hump," Donovan said.
Louisville held a 67-66 advantage with under three minutes left and didn't need to make a field goal the rest of the way. Ellis Myles hit 2-of-4 free throws, Dean converted 1-of-2 from the line and Brandon Jenkins made 1-of-2 free throws to increase the lead to 71-66 with 1:01 left.
After a pair of free throws by Anthony Roberson, Florida had a chance to tie the game but David Lee missed a 3-point attempt with 18 seconds remaining.
Freshman Juan Palacios hit a pair of free throws with five seconds left to seal the win.
Lee led the Gators with 18 points and Roberson added 15.
After the quick start, Louisville settled for a 37-33 lead at halftime. Garcia started the second half with a dunk, banked in a jumper, drew a charge and then hit three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt to increase the advantage to 48-39 with 14:02 left.
Garcia fouled out with 1:40 remaining, but the Cardinals were able to hold on.