Wed, Apr 04, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Florida repeats as NCAA champs

GOING DOWNTOWNThe Gators connected on four 3-pointers in a 16-5 run, while the Buckeyes went cold from outside, making just four of 23 in the game

AFP , ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Taurean Green scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half as Florida repeated as US college champs with an 84-75 win over Ohio State.

"I will definitely enjoy this," said Florida coach Billy Donovan. "This team is one of the best teams to ever play and they did it back-to-back, so they deserve a lot of credit."

Lee Humphrey added 14 points and Corey Brewer scored 13 for the Gators (35-5), who made 10-of-18 3-pointers.

Although Monday's margin of victory was not as large as the 86-60 decision that Florida had over Ohio State (35-4) on Dec. 23, the Gators once again opened the contest up with a decisive run.

"It feels great. We won again. Yes, two years in a row," Brewer said as the team celebrated on the floor before heading into the locker room.

"We set records and we made history," he said.

In the previous meeting, the two teams were knotted up at 40-40 with 17:05 remaining before Green's seven points sparked a 20-5 run that led to an eventual rout.

Even though there still was plenty of time remaining in the game in this one, the Gators took control after a 3-pointer by Ivan Harris cut the Buckeyes' deficit to 24-22 with 5:39 left to play in the first half.

With freshman Greg Oden not experiencing his recent early struggles with fouls, Florida turned its attack to the outside as Green hit a pair of three-pointers and Humphrey and Brewer both added one during a 16-5 run that gave the Gators a cushion of 40-27 at 1:07 before the half.

While the Gators proved deadly from the arc, the Buckeyes were ice-cold from outside, missing all four of their attempts during the spurt and finishing four-of-23 for the game.

Although a thunderous dunk by Oden closed the scoring in the first half, Florida led 40-29 and went on to improve to 28-0 this season when leading at halftime.

Ohio State, which was in search of its first national title since 1960, did open the second with a 7-2 run to close within 42-36.

However, the Buckeyes could not get any closer as Florida made all the big shots.

After a 3-point play by reserve forward-center Chris Richard put the Gators ahead 61-47 with 8:59 left, the Buckeyes tried to charge back, going on a 13-5 run behind a jumper and three free throws by Oden.

Although the lead had been sliced down to 66-60 with less than five minutes remaining, Green answered with a 3-pointer, igniting a 9-2 run.

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