BY SPNW Staff 11:04PM 03/22/2018

Florida State puts decisive end to Zags’ season

Bedeviled by an injury and foul trouble, Gonzaga’s bid for a third visit to the NCAA basketball tourney’s round of eight in four years came up well short Thursday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Ninth-seeded Florida State mostly …

Bedeviled by an injury and foul trouble, Gonzaga’s bid for a third visit to the NCAA basketball tourney’s round of eight in four years came up well short Thursday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Ninth-seeded Florida State mostly dominated in a 75-60 West Region win that ended the season for the fourth-seeded Bulldogs.

The West Coast Conference champions hadn’t lost since Jan. 18, but fell behind early and stayed there against a Seminoles (23-11) team that finished 9-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but has run off three upsets in a row against higher seeds.

Killian Tillie, a 6-10 sophomore forward, sat out with a sore hip that the Zags discovered during warmups.

When forward Johnathan Williams and Rui Hachimura fell into foul trouble, the Zags were shorthanded against FSU’s 11-man rotation. The Seminoles’ bench players outscored their counterparts 30-6.

Gonzaga had a miserable shooting night, missing 15 of 20 threes and shooting 34 percent. Zach Norvell Jr., whose clutch shotmaking helped the Zags in the first two tourney wins, missed 12 of 16 from the field. They also were 15 of 24 from the line.

Norvell finished with 14 points. Hachimura led the Zags with 16, while FSU’s 6-6 junior guard, Terance Mann, had 18.

Gonzaga’s loss followed No. 7 Nevada’s 69-68 loss to 11th-seeded Chicago-Loyola in a South Region semifinal Thursday in Atlanta, wiping out the last schools representing the West.


YourThoughts

  • Talkjoc

    Former North Idaho College star Braian Angola did the defensive job on Norvell Jr. IMO, the Zags lost the game at the free throw line. Many of the misses were on the front end of one and ones. The loss of Tillie was a factor but don’t think it would have changed the outcome.

    • art thiel

      Foul trouble and the absence of Tillie tilted the game. FSU’s 11-man rotation was impressive.

  • Theyfinallyfiredcable

    Good riddance ; can’t wait till Hopkins gets the Dawgs up to snuff & wipes the smirk off their faces .

    • Ken S.

      Why the hate for a very successful Zags team? Jealousy? They’ll be back next year, and winning, as always. The Dawgs? They’ll be lucky if they can make 3rd place in the Pac12.

      • art thiel

        It’s tradition, Ken. Zags are the Yankees of West Coast hoops.

      • Theyfinallyfiredcable

        The difference being the Zags have a sum total of ONE conference opponent that might give them a game – St. Mary’s . The Huskies on the other hand contend with Arizona , UCLA , Oregon , Stanford every year . I’d love to see Gonzaga play quality opponents in their own conference year after year and then see their record . They remind me of the Patriots in that there’s zero competition for them in the AFC East , ever ; same thing with Gonzaga in that pathetic conference of theirs .

    • Dean Agnor

      The Zags have some very good players coming back. Good luck.

    • art thiel

      Nothing in the game the past season showed the gap has closed.