By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
March 28, 2019
ANAHEIM, Calif. (WCTV) -- A trip to the Elite Eight is on the line as the Florida State Seminoles take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Sweet Sixteen, a rematch of the 2018 matchup that saw the Noles take home a 15-point win.
Florida State survived the Vermont Catamounts, 76-69 and raced Murray State, 90-62, in the first weekend of the tournament, while Gonzaga dispatched of Fairleigh Dickinson, 87-49, and Baylor, 83-71, to punch their ticket to Anaheim.
Below will be a running live blog of the game, updated during key timeouts and at the half with stats and analysis. For up-to-the-minute play-by-play and further analysis, be sure you're following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter.
FINAL: GONZAGA 72 - FLORIDA STATE 58
And the Seminoles' season has come to a close. If not for a 12-2 run to end the game for the Bulldogs, this is either a much closer loss for FSU or maybe the Noles are able to get some momentum to pull within a shot.
Regardless, the season has come to a close for FSU after 29 wins and Gonzaga is able to extract some revenge.
Our full recap can be seen here. Thanks, as always, for joining and we'll speak again soon.
2nd Half, 2:06: 63-56, Gonzaga
Florida State has made this a game, but have picked a bad time to go on a 2:05 scoring drought after cutting the lead to four points.
On the plus side, the Noles have only held Gonzaga to four made field goals in just over eight minutes the close the second half and have ripped a 14-8 over that time span, though still trail.
2nd Half, 7:33: 57-51, Gonzaga
Gonzaga is going through a bit of a rough stretch, having turned the ball over four times in the last 4:41 of game time while the Noles are heating up, having made three of their last three field goals.
Overall, it's a 6-2 run for FSU.
All of that good news aside for Florida State, they could very quickly find themselves without a big, as Mfiondu Kabengele has three fouls and Christ Koumadje is sitting on four.
2nd Half, 12:01: 55-45, Gonzaga
Gonzaga is hot, using their transition game to go on a 6-0 run before an M.J. Walker three momentarily stopped the bleeding, but not before the Bulldogs took a 13-point lead.
On the FSU front, PJ Savoy was slow to leave the court after an apparent left-shoulder injury. Already down Phil Cofer and David Nichols, the last thing FSU needs is Savoy to not be able to return today.
2nd Half, 15:36: 45-35, Gonzaga
Christ Koumadje is making his presence known. After picking up two quick fouls in the first half he didn't play the rest of the opening 20, but he's been back out for the entire first term of the second half and already has two buckets (and now leads the team in scoring with eight) but also has picked up a third foul.
The game has picked up but shots aren't falling for either side. Once play resumes, Mann will be at the free throw line after a call against Norvell, his third foul.
HALFTIME: GONZAGA 38 - FLORIDA STATE 27
Well it wasn't a great half for Florida State, but it could have been a lot worse.
The half looked like it was going to end well for the Noles, but a Josh Perkins steal and lay-in led to an and-one and Mfiondu Kabengele's second personal foul led to about a five-point swing.
To make matters even odder, Perkins and FSU's M.J. Walker were each hit with double technical fouls.
Anyway, some key stats for you at the half:
FSU is shooting 33.3 percent from the floor and just 18.2 percent (2-for-11) from three, having turned the ball over nine times.
Gonzaga is shooting 40.5 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from deep (5-for-13).
1st Half, 3:39: 33-23, Gonzaga
Gonzaga is starting to feel it and FSU has no answer.
The Bulldogs rattled off an 8-0 run where they made four of five shots to nearly double up the Noles and take the game's first three-point lead.
Noles are shooting just 2-for-10 from three point land and are getting outrebounded, 19-16.
Someone for FSU needs to step up and bring them some momentum - Terance Mann has had a couple of flashes of brilliance with either ball handling or to force a turnover, but he's yet to hit a shot from the floor.
1st Half, 7:41: 22-17, Gonzaga
The Noles are starting to see key shots fall, but not enough as it feels like Gonzaga can start to pull away at any moment. The Bulldogs already have 22 shots, though have only made nine of them.
Gonzaga is having success in the paint in transition, but when they try to feed the paint, after the Noles have had time to set their defense up, it's been less successful.
Rui Hachimura already has 11 for the Zags while PJ Savoy is the leading scorer at this juncture for FSU, with six (both from down town).
Florida State has continued to be careless with the ball, turning it over seven times.
1st Half, 11:53: 14-12, Gonzaga
The pace has picked up a bit, as has FSU's confidence. PJ Savoy just hit the first three of the game to pull the Noles within two but are having trouble with looks inside the paint and holding onto the ball, having five turnovers.
But, Gonzaga isn't making them pay. Neither team is shooting better than 45 percent (FSU 36 percent, Gonzaga 43 percent).
1st Half, 15:53: 6-3, Gonzaga
A slow, choppy start in Anaheim, thanks in part to there being five fouls called in the opening three minutes, including two against Christ Koumadje.
After scoring on their first possession, the Noles have just one more point, from a free throw, and are going on 3:52 and counting without a field goal.
Neither team has been able to establish much of a flow or pace.
The lineups are in as we are just minutes away from tip off in Anaheim
Zach Norvell Jr.
Gray garnered the start last weekend against Murray State for FSU and logged solid minutes, scoring 11 points and was lights out from three. It may be a bit of a tougher match up for him tonight, but Hamilton was certainly left impressed by his spot-start last weekend.