Florida State vs Gonzaga

Zags stave off Seminoles' second-half rally

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With four seasons at Gonzaga, Matt Bouldin is familiar with what it takes to come through in the clutch.

It was Bouldin's composure -- and the 14 points he scored in the second half -- that allowed the eighth-seeded Bulldogs to avoid squandering an 18-point lead and hang on for a 67-60 victory over Florida State on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

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"We play in so many big games like that all across the country that they're essentially NCAA tournament games really," Bouldin said. "But after the game, I'm not really thinking about all those other games we had. I'm just really happy about this victory."

In finishing with 17 points, Bouldin made five of six free throws and had a key defensive rebound in the final 90 seconds as the Bulldogs (27-6) withstood the second-half rally by the Seminoles (22-10).

Steven Gray scored 15 points while Robert Sacre added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Zags, who were making their 12th straight tournament appearance and 13th overall. The West Coast Conference champions advanced to Sunday's second round.

Deividas Dulkys scored 14 points and Solomon Alabi had 13 for the ninth-seeded Seminoles, who still have a way to go in their quest to be considered a basketball power. At least they made things competitive.

Opening the second half down 35-19, Florida State started chipping away and finally got the crowd on its feet after Alabi hit two free throws to make it 51-44 with 6:37 remaining.

The Seminoles eventually cut the lead to 59-54 with 2:21 left when Dulkys banked in a 3-pointer. They had a chance to pull closer but Michael Snaer missed two free throws a minute later.

Bouldin pulled down the rebound and the Bulldogs made 8 of 10 free throws to close out the victory.

"We had nowhere to go but up. We were down in a big hole and we just had to do something," Dulkys said. "I really thought we had a chance."

Though disappointed with the loss, Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton hoped his players can learn something from this experience by how composed the Bulldogs were with the game on the line.

"I told our players that we have moved. We have elevated our status. And you can use programs like [Gonzaga] as an example," Hamilton said. "They are a team that has tremendous amount of courage. ... They've gotten the most out of their talent, and they ought to be commended for that."

The Bulldogs' high level of talent was certainly on display with a near-perfect first-half performance when they picked apart the Seminoles' vaunted defense.

After giving up the first basket, Gonzaga opened a 24-9 lead before the game was 12 minutes old and never trailed again.

The Bulldogs were so efficient that by the time they opened a 17-7 lead, every Gonzaga starter had scored at least one basket.

Gonzaga frustrated the Seminoles at both ends of the court, while their offense patiently worked the ball around to tire Florida State's defense. By the time Florida State made its way into the offensive end, it was forced into taking poor shots or -- by the time the game appeared to be getting out of hand -- awkward 3-point attempts. Forward Ryan Reid missed all seven attempts in the first half.

The Bulldogs went 21 of 42 from the field to end the Seminoles' string at 67 games of holding opponents to under 50 percent. They also outrebounded Florida State 38-32.

"It was a monster challenge," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of facing the Seminoles' defense. "Our guys played with an incredible amount of poise, and they stuck with the game plan."

Gonzaga bounced back from a dreadful 81-62 loss to Saint Mary's in the WCC title game on March 8.

Florida State, meanwhile, closed its season losing eight of 17, including a 58-52 loss to North Carolina State in the ACC quarterfinals on March 12.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Florida State #9194160
Gonzaga #8 «353267
FLST:Deividas Dulkys 14 Pts
FLST:Solomon Alabi 6 Reb
FLST:Derwin Kitchen 5 Ast
GONZAG:Matt Bouldin 17 Pts
GONZAG:Robert Sacre 9 Reb
GONZAG:Matt Bouldin 3 Ast

Related Video

 
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
GonzagaFlorida State
GONZAG
Matt Bouldin
FLST
Deividas Dulkys
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
17831421
Florida State Seminoles
M. Snaer, G344-90-34239
S. Alabi, C315-123-461413
C. Singleton, F303-72-44248
D. Kitchen, G242-53-54507
R. Reid, F200-82-23022
L. Loucks, G312-62-23437
D. Dulkys, G235-110-021214
X. Gibson, F-C50-10-00030
T. Shannon, F20-00-01010
A. Yawn, GDid Not Play
J. DeMercy, FDid Not Play
P. Jordan, GDid Not Play
J. Moreau, GDid Not Play
A. Rutledge, FDid Not Play
Totals 21-5912-2027152260
 35.6%60.0% 
Gonzaga Bulldogs
M. Bouldin, G395-106-983217
S. Gray, G386-112-272215
D. Goodson, G342-35-65249
E. Harris, F345-102-231313
R. Sacre, C303-87-1192413
K. Olynyk, G-F100-00-04020
B. Kong, F70-00-00110
W. Foster, C60-00-02010
G. Vilarino, G20-00-00000
M. Arop, FDid Not Play
S. Dower, F-CDid Not Play
G. Gibbs, GDid Not Play
M. Hart, GDid Not Play
A. Poling, FDid Not Play
C. Pontarolo-Maag, GDid Not Play
D. Stockton, GDid Not Play
Totals 21-4222-3039111967
 50.0%73.3% 
ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N. Carolina14-433-75
Virginia13-529-83
Miami (Fla.)13-527-89
Louisville12-623-817
Duke11-725-1120
Notre Dame11-724-1231
Va. Tech10-820-1589
Clemson10-817-14131
Pittsburgh9-921-1253
Syracuse9-923-1472
Florida St.8-1020-1482
Georgia Tech8-1021-1569
NC State5-1316-17123
Wake Forest2-1611-20159
Boston College0-187-25250

West Coast
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
St. Marys15-329-638
Gonzaga15-328-845
BYU13-526-1176
Pepperdine10-818-14129
San Fran.8-1015-15227
Santa Clara7-1111-20251
Loyola-Mary.6-1214-17224
Portland6-1212-20249
Pacific6-128-20268
San Diego4-149-21302
 
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