BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- For about a week, Florida guard Jordan Jones listened to the chatter about how Ohio State's women's basketball team felt insulted about being given a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It was as if the Gators -- who were playing the Buckeyes in the first round -- were an afterthought.

"All week long we heard Ohio State this, Ohio State that, their guards average this, their post players do that," Jones said. "I know Ohio State talked a lot about being disrespected, but we felt disrespected, too. I don't think anyone knew how good our defense was."

Quick on the perimeter, the ninth-seeded Gators were a step ahead from the very start yesterday, beating the Buckeyes, 70-65, in the Des Moines Regional. Florida scored the game's first nine points and led the entire way.

Former Commack star Samantha Prahalis was scoreless in the second half and finished with nine points for Ohio State. At one point, Lanita Bartley turned her back to the rest of the play while shadowing Prahalis on the perimeter, denying her the ball.

The senior did become the second Division I player to reach 2,000 points and 900 assists for her career, joining Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot.

Jennifer George had 16 points and six rebounds and Bartley added 15 points for Florida (20-12), which faces No. 1 seed Baylor tomorrow. Tayler Hill scored 23 points for Ohio State (25-7).

"We would play anyone, anywhere. It just didn't matter," Jones said. "When we saw our name come up on the screen, we were ecstatic. We could have been playing the Lakers, and we would have been hugging and crying tears of joy." -- AP