Florida Gators Advance With Easy Win Over St. Bonaventure

 

Gators transfer Egor Koulechov scored 20 points and Florida eased past St. Bonaventure 77-62, ending the Bonnies' tournament run two days after their first NCAA Tournament victory in 48 years.

Chris Chiozza had 11 assists and Jalen Hudson scored 16 points for the sixth-seeded Gators, who have reached the Elite Eight the past five times they've been in the tournament. Florida will face Texas Tech in an East Region second-round game Saturday.

Rough night for St. Bonaventure as they finished at 35 percent shooting but were in the 20s when the outcome was in doubt.  Koulechov was 4 of 10 from 3-point range.

Florida trailed 22-21 late in the first half when Mike Okauru hit a 3-pointer to start a 15-0 run that continued after halftime and put the Gators up 36-22.

Hudson soared over Matt Mobley for a put-back dunk and made the free throw after a foul to give Florida its first 20-point lead at 57-37 with about 8 minutes remaining.

This was St. Bonaventure's first NCAA appearance since 2012 and seventh overall.

Chiozza, who hit the running 3 that beat Wisconsin in the regional semifinals last year, scored eight, but did finish just one off his career high for assists. KeVaughn Allen added seven points. They were a combined 5 of 17 from the field.

Next up for teh Gators, they will face a heavily pro-Texas Tech crowd in Dallas.

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