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No. 3 Ohio St meets No. 4 Florida in prelude to football showdown

Dec 23, 2006 - 5:06 PM No. 3 Ohio St (11-1) at No. 4 Florida (10-2) 4:00 pm EST

GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Before Ohio State meets Florida for the national football championship on January 8, they will have a warmup battle on the hardwood.

The third-ranked Buckeyes aim for their fifth consecutive victory when they visit the defending NCAA champion Gators, who have won 21 straight home games against non-conference foes.

Since setting a season-high in points allowed in a 98-89 loss at North Carolina on November 29, Ohio State has held each of its opponents to less than 60 points in four consecutive victories.

Daequan Cook scored 21 points, Greg Oden added 18 and Mike Conley Jr. 15 for the Buckeyes in Tuesday's 75-50 triumph over Iowa State. All three are freshmen.

Ohio State has not beaten a defending national champ since a 64-61 victory over Michigan in the 1989-1990 campaign. The Buckeyes are 5-21 against the reigning titlist.

Looking to tie the school record for victories before Christmas set last season, Florida will likely be without Al Horford, who has missed the last two games with a sprained left ankle. The 6-10 junior averages 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds.

Walter Hodge scored 17 points, Joakim Noah added 16 and Corey Brewer 15 for the Gators in Wednesday's 88-67 win over Stetson.

The victory enabled coach Billy Donovan to surpass Norm Sloan for career victories (236) at Florida.

Ohio State has won five of the seven previous meetings against Florida. The teams have not faced each other in 18 seasons.

    --- --- -----
    OHIO ST (3) 29 31 60
    FLORIDA (4) 38 48 86 FINAL

    Dec 23 5:54 PM

    OHIO ST (3) 29

    Dec 23 4:51 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 61 roots

    Ohio State vs. FloridaDec 23 4:05 PM