Gonzaga Stops Florida State, Advances To Second Round

March 20th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

In an opening round game in the West Region of the 2010 NCAA Basketball tournament, the No. 8 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs bested the No.9 seed Florida State Seminoles 67-60.

Matt Bouldin led the way for the Bulldogs, scoring 17 points, 14 of which came in the second half, to thwart a Seminole comeback.  Florida State was down by 18 points in the second half before knocking down several shots to climb their way back and make it a competitive game.  It was too little, too late however.

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

Bouldin made five key free throws down the home-stretch of the second half to preserve an unreachable lead from the Seminoles, and hold off the rally.

Steven Gray added 15 points for Gonzaga, while Robert Sacre tabbed 13 points to go along with nine rebounds in a complete team effort.

With the win, the Bulldogs move on to face No.1 seed in the West Bracket, Syracuse, on Sunday.

On the other side of the court, the Seminoles’ slow start proved to be their unraveling, despite a valiant comeback attempt in the second half.

Deividas Dulkys led the way for Florida State, scoring 14 points while Solomon Alabi added 13.

The Seminoles were making their first back-to-back tournament appearances since 1992-93, and were looking for their first win in the NCAA tournament since 1998.  It will have to wait at least one more year.

Down 59-54 in the second half, Florida State had a chance to pull within three, but Michael Snaer could not convert free-throw attempts, and that proved to be costly.

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

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton was disappointed with the loss, but believed this was a good experience for a team looking to break through into big-time college basketball.

“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.”

USA Online Sportsbooks
had Florida State as a one-point favorite prior to tip-off, but failed to cover in the loss.  The over/under for the match up was set at 132 points, but with the games’ total reaching only 127 points, it went the under.

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