DALLAS — Three observations following UF’s 77-62 win over St. Bonaventure on Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament:
— Florida at times settled for too many 3-point attempts against St. Bonaventure’s matchup zone, hoisting 19 of its 32 3-point attempts in the first half. The Gators, though, were more aggressive taking the ball to the basket in the second half. Three straight driving finishes by freshman Mike Okauru, junior guard KeVaughn Allen and junior guard Jalen Hudson put Florida up 45-31 and helped set a tone offensively for the remainder of the game. Florida scored 50 points in the second half. The Gators finished the game shooting 31.3 percent (10-32) from 3-point range.
— Freshman guard Mike Okauru had another excellent game off the bench, finishing with 7 points in 17 minutes with just one turnover. Okauru showed no jitters playing his first NCAA Tournament and hit a big 3-pointer late in the first half to put the Gators back up 24-22 after St. Bonaventure took a brief lead. Unfortunately for UF, Okauru suffered an apparent head injury when he hit his head hard on the floor late in the second half. But Florida coach Mike White said postgame he expects the 6-foot-3 guard to be OK for UF’s game Saturday night against Texas Tech.
— Florida showed good poise at the free throw line, making 13 of 18 attempts (72.2 pct) to help close out at the game. Even sophomore center Gorjok Gak made a free throw. Chris Chiozza, KeVaughn Allen and Okauru combined to go 6 of 6 from the line.