Gonzaga gets revenge, Noles' run comes to close in 72-58 Sweet Sixteen loss

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
March 28, 2019

ANAHEIM, Calif. (WCTV) – The NCAA Tournament run for the Florida State Seminoles has come to a close after the Gonzaga Bulldogs ended the game on a 12-2 run in a 72-58 win in Anaheim.

Down 38-29 to open the second half, the Noles defense went to work, holding the Bulldogs offense to just four field goals in a stretch of a little over eight minutes in the back half of the second half.

Over that same span, the Seminoles were able to put together a 14-8 run to pull within, at one point, four points, but a game-ending 12-2 run in the final 3:06 of the game ended the Noles' season a round earlier than last year.

It took a while for things to get going on the floor after a very choppy start, thanks in large part to some whistle-happy officiating, in which five total fouls were called in the first three minutes, not allowing for the game to develop much of a flow early.

FSU scored the first bucket of the game, on an alley-oop to Christ Koumadje, but never scored consecutive field goals in the first half, instead going on multiple two-plus minute scoreless stretches and could never find a consistent scoring rhythm.

The Seminoles were successful in never allowing Gonzaga to fully overtake the game early, although the Bulldogs came close. With just under seven minutes to play, the Bulldogs rattled off a quick 8-0 run to take the game’s first double figure lead on a Josh Perkins three pointer and lay up followed by a Killian Tillie lay up, his only field goal of the half.

Florida State found first-half success on defense when they didn’t let the Zags have transition opportunities; Gonzaga struggled to score from the paint while running set offensive plays, but had no issues when running the floor.

Trent Forrest turned in the performance of the game for Florida State, scoring a game-high 20 points and adding four assists and three steals to his stat sheet and an insane hustle play on defense.

FSU was handicapped almost from the start of the game after Koumadje picked up two quick fouls, keeping him off the court for almost the entire first half. He was quick to return in the second half and make his presence felt, scoring six points quickly to help spark the Noles.

Four players finished in double figure scoring for Gonzaga; 17 points from Rui Hachimura, 15 points from Brandon Clarke, who also added 12 rebounds, and 14 points each from Josh Perkins and Zach Norvell, Jr., who hit a three pointer with 3:06 to play to spark the Zags' game-ending run.

As a team, Florida State shot 39 percent from the floor and a paltry 15 percent from three while turning the ball over 14 times.

FSU also lost the rebounding battle, 45-36.

FSU's season ends with the Noles recording a 29-8 record.

Gonzaga looks to punch their ticket to next weekend's Final Four, as they'll play the winner of Thursday's Michigan/Texas Tech game on Saturday.

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