Florida State vs Gonzaga

Zags stave off Seminoles' second-half rally


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.

West Regional coverage

Clark Judge
While it's tempting to portray Gonzaga as this week's winner of Survivor, the Zags are more, much more than that. More


Message boards: Gonzaga | Florida State

Regional coverage

East | West | Midwest | South

"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 2017 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.
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


CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike White Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

Villanova Wildcats 2016 National Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear!
Shop Now

GonzagaFlorida State
Matt Bouldin
Deividas Dulkys
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
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
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Boston College1-08-381
Florida St.0-09-031
Miami (Fla.)0-08-046
N. Carolina0-09-15
Va. Tech0-09-1100
NC State0-08-280
Notre Dame0-08-260
Wake Forest0-06-4157
Georgia Tech0-04-4220

West Coast
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
San Diego0-08-256
St. Marys0-08-277
San Fran.0-05-3209
Santa Clara0-03-6345
Other games
Morg St 50 Final
W Virg 77
Minn 54 Final
XAV 65
CORN 78 Final
Temple 65
Siena 64 Final
Purdue 72
Missouri 86 Final
WOFF 49 Final
Wisc 53
OAK 66 Final
Utah St 53 Final
Tx A&M 69
GT 64 Final
Okla St 59
Ark-PB 44 Final
N Mex St 67 Final
Mich St 70
UVM 56 Final
Syracuse 79
Louisville 62 Final
California 77
UCSB 51 Final
Ohio St 68
HOU 77 Final
MD 89