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No. 10 Florida 83, No. 7 Alabama 72

March 3, 1997

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) _ DeLisha Milton scored 26 points to lift No. 10 Florida to an 83-72 win Sunday over No. 7 Alabama, advancing the Gators to the Southeastern Conference championship game for the first time in school history.

Florida (21-7) faces Auburn (20-9) in Monday’s title game at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at 7 p.m. EST. Auburn beat defending champion No. 8 Tennessee 61-59 on Sunday.

The teams were tied three times early in the game before Florida hit three consecutive 3-pointers, two by Talatha Bingham, to hold a 38-34 lead at halftime.

The teams were tied at 66 with 5:10 remaining, but stellar free-throw shooting gave Florida the nine points and distance it needed to seal the win.

Milton, the SEC player of the year, was followed by Bingham with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Dana Smith with 13 points and seven assists. Murriel Page was the top rebounder with 10, and she added 10 points.

Canty scored 20 points and Shalonda Enis had 18 before fouling out with 1:28 remaining in the game. Yolonda Walkins added 11 points and nine rebounds.

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