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Gators' style impresses Southern Cal's coach

Southern Cal hasn't played anyone from the Southeastern Conference this season, and Florida hasn't played a team from the Pac-10. The teams have never met, and they don't have a common opponent this season.

After watching the Gators beat Florida International 92-68 in the tournament's first round, USC coach Fred Williams said he couldn't remember seeing a team like them this season.

"Florida has their own style," Williams said. "The way they shot last night, wow, from the outside _ it was pretty amazing.

"We respect that, and we expect to have to come out with some good defense and mix it up on them."

TWO LOW: All-American DeLisha Milton, averaging 19 points this season, had scored in double figures in 41 straight games until the conference final against Auburn. She scored eight points in that loss and was held to four in Florida's next game, the victory over FIU.

ON THE ROAD: This is the Gators' last game at the friendly O'Connell Center. A victory earns them a trip to the Mideast Regional on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, Ind. The victor plays No. 2 seed Louisiana Tech, a 74-48 winner over Auburn, which beat Florida in the SEC tournament final.

ET CETERA: UF is one of 13 teams that have made it to the tournament each of the past five years. But its record is 3-4. This is USC's 13th appearance. The Trojans won national championships in 1983 and 1984 when Cheryl Miller was a player. Miller was head coach during their most recent appearance, a first-round loss to Memphis in 1995.

_ SHARON GINN

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