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.