By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The No. 6 seeded Florida Gators ended the No. 11 seeded St. Bonaventure Bonnies season in the NCAA March Madness Tournament on Thursday night. The Gators defeated the Bonnie’s, 77-62, at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
“This is what I wanted when I came here,” Egor Koulechov said. “We’re obviously not done. Still hopefully a lot of basketball to be played.”
The Gators improved to 21-12 on the season. Florida will now face the No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders, who defeated the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, on Saturday night at 8:40 pm EST.
The Bonnies ended their season with a 26-8 record. This week, they won their first NCAA Tournament game in 48-years.
St. Bonaventure ran out of gas in this game. The Bonnies, who defeated the UCLA Bruins on Tuesday night in order to face the Gators, got into Dallas around 4 am CST.
In one day, they had to get enough sleep, then prepare for the Gators. It turned out to be a difficult task.
Florida at one point led 57-37 with 8 minutes remaining.
“It’s always (a) chip on your shoulder when you’re picked to lose in the first-round as a higher seed for the second year in a row,” Chris Chiozza said. “It gives you a little more fuel just to go out there and prove them wrong.”
Koulechov led the Gators with 20 points. He also had six rebounds.
This was his first 20-point game since Jan.
“This team, they’ve been awesome,” he said. “The whole experience, not just the NCAA Tournament. Just the whole year, it’s been amazing.”
Koulechov was one of two Florida players, who scored in double-digits. Jalen Hudson also had 16 points.
Florida had 24 bench points. Keith Stone led the bench with nine points.
Courtney Stockard led the Bonnies with 14 points. He also had six rebounds and one assist.
He was one of three St. Bonaventure players, who scored in double-figures. Jaylen Adams had 11 points and Matt Mobley contributed 10 points.
The Bonnies had 20 bench points. LaDarien Griffin led the bench with nine points.