Analysis: Gonzaga struggles against FSU defense, falls to Seminoles in Sweet 16

Florida State forward Mfiondu Kabengele slams dunks against Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins late in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Silas Melson (0) hangs his head as he moves to position to inbound the ball with limited time left during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins (13) has the ball stripped away by Florida State guard Trent Forrest (3), in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura wrestles with Florida State guard Braian Angola for a loose ball in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura (21), Corey Kispert (24) and Zach Norvell Jr., canÕt believe a foul was called on Hachimura against Florida State, in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams crashes to the floor against Florida State forward Phil Cofer, in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie watches the game from the bench against Florida State, in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr. and forward Rui Hachimura battle Florida State center Ike Obiagu for a rebound, in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Florida State center Ike Obiagu dunks on Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
TBS broadcasters Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner and Reggie Miler get ready to call Sweet 16 games, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga defense from Zach Norvell Jr., Johnathan Williams and Silas Melson, force Florida State guard Braian Angola into a turnover, in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) drives to the basket against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Jeremy Jones (22) reacts from the bench during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs center Jacob Larsen (14) battles Florida State Seminoles guard CJ Walker (2) for a rebound during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Silas Melson (0) shoots against Florida State during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) drives to the hoop against Florida State Seminoles guard CJ Walker (2) during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Florida State Seminoles forward Phil Cofer (0) vies for a rebound against Gonzaga during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Johnathan Williams (3) drives to the basket against Florida State Seminoles forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Johnathan Williams (3) drives to the basket against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) hits a three pointer during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game against the Florida State Seminoles on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) hits a three pointer during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game against the Florida State Seminoles on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) reacts to a call during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) drives to the basket against Florida State during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Rui Hachimura (21) battles at the rim against Florida State Seminoles center Ike Obiagu (12) during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Rui Hachimura (21) vies for a loose ball against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Silas Melson (0) shoots against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) drives to the hoop against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) drives the ball against Florida State during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) shoots a three against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Rui Hachimura (21) battles Florida at the rim during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) has the ball stripped by Florida State Seminoles guard CJ Walker (2) during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) reacts during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) moves the ball down court against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) reacts after a Gonzaga rally during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Johnathan Williams (3) battles Florida State Seminoles guard Trent Forrest (3) at the rim during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Johnny Williams I, father of Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams, and former GU basketball player Rem Bakamus, left, shout out loud for the Zags against Florida State in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Rui Hachimura (21) vies for a rebound against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) has his shot blocked at the rim by the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga coach Mark Few watches the game slip away againstFlorida State, in the Sweet 16, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins tries to stop a basket by Florida State guard CJ Walker, in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) drives to the hoop against Florida State Seminoles guard Braian Angola (11) during the first half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga can only watch as Florida State forward Phil Cofer slam dunks late in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few reacts as his team falls further behind the Florida State Seminoles during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura tries to stop Florida State Terrance Mann from scoring in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) reacts to a call late during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
The Florida State Seminoles' bench celebrates during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game as they extend their lead against Gonzaga on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams battles Florida State center Christ Koumadje for a loose ball in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Florida State center Christ Koumadje rips the ball away from Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Johnathan Williams (3) battles at the rim against Florida State Seminoles forward Phil Cofer (0) during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) reacts after scoring during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) dives for a loose ball during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins is called for a foul against Florida State guard Trent Forrest (3), in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga coach Mark Few gathers his team in the minutes against Florida State in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Rui Hachimura (21) tries to penetrate the Florida State Seminoles defense during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga players Rui Hashimura, Josh Perkins Silas Melson, Zach Norvell jr. and Johnathan Williams watch Florida State forward Phil Cofer sink free throws late in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga fans react as they their team falls further behind The Florida State Seminoles during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Rui Hachimura (21) strains toward the hoop to attempt an alley-oop on an inbounded pass as it flies out of bounds during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Florida State Seminoles forward Phil Cofer (0) shoots against Gonzaga during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Florida State Seminoles guard Terance Mann (14) reacts after scoring against Gonzaga during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Florida State Seminoles forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) drives to the rim against Gonzaga during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Johnathan Williams battles at the rim against Florida State Seminoles forward Phil Cofer during the second half of Thursday’s Sweet 16 game in Los Angeles. Florida State won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) reacts after scoring during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert is hammered at the rim by Florida State guard C.J. Walker Thursday at the Staples Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins is helped from the court a fter an injury against Florida State late in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins sits at the end of the bench with a towel over his head as times runs out against Florida State in the Sweet 16 game, Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Rui Hachimura (21) reacts as the Florida State Seminoles win the game during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Johnathan Williams (3), guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23), guard Silas Melson (0) and guard Josh Perkins (13) react as Florida State Seminoles forward Phil Cofer (0) shoots foul shots on a late technical foul, sealing Gonzaga's loss during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few gives a nod to cheering Bulldogs fans as he leaves the court after the team fell to the Florida State Seminoles in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 on Thursday in Los Angeles. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) gestures to the crowd as he leaves the court after falling to the Florida State Seminoles during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Josh Perkins (13) hangs his head as he leaves the court after falling to the Florida State Seminoles during the second half of a 2018 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball game on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Florida State Seminoles won the game 75-60. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

LOS ANGELES – Short-handed and nowhere near the top of its game.

That wasn’t a good combination for Gonzaga against an athletic, deep Florida State team.

Fourth-seeded Gonzaga, playing without injured starting forward Killian Tillie, fell behind early and could never chase down the ninth-seeded Seminoles.

The Zags had plenty of want-to, but not nearly enough execution, perimeter shooting or offense in general against an ACC opponent that isn’t an easy team to catch.

Gonzaga’s NCAA Tournament run ended in the Sweet 16 as FSU led for nearly 33 minutes during a 75-60 Seminoles victory Thursday in front of 19,181 at the Staples Center.

Florida State (23-11) clipped the Zags’ 16-game winning streak and advanced to face Michigan on Saturday for a spot in the Final Four. The Seminoles are in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993.

GU, which kept it close before a rough final few minutes, finished 32-5.

“It’s a tough, tough, tough loss,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “I knew after watching tape on Florida State how tough it was going to be to generate baskets.”

The Zags were held to a season-low point total. They’d been below 70 points just three times prior to Thursday’s game.

Tillie collided with another Zag during Tuesday’s practice and suffered what Few described as a “really bad hip-pointer.” Tillie had treatment on his hip leading up to the game and was ready to give it a go until aggravating the injury late in warm-ups.

Sophomore forward Rui Hachimura stepped into the starting five for just the second time and came up with 16 points and nine boards, but GU didn’t have a starter make at least half of his shots. The Zags finished at a season-low 33.9 percent.

Zach Norvell Jr., a breakout star in GU’s first two tournament wins, scored 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Josh Perkins added nine points, Johnathan Williams eight and Silas Melson seven, but the trio made just 9 of 27 field-goal attempts.

“They were really aggressive on the defensive end, denying the ball and adjusting our shots on goal,” Norvell said. “It kind of took a toll on us. We could just never knock down that door like we have been in winning 16 straight.”

GU lost some of its 3-point firepower with Tillie’s absence. He’s the team’s top 3-point percentage shooter (48). The Zags finished 5 of 20 from distance.

“That’s a key person on our team,” Williams said of Tillie. “They’re long and athletic. I felt like we missed easy shots around the rim, and that’s on us.”

The Seminoles swatted nine shots. Hachimura was rejected twice at the rim in the second half, both leading to run-out dunks by Terance Mann, who paced the Seminoles with 18 points.

FSU also made Gonzaga pay for its 13 turnovers. The Seminoles had a 16-10 edge in points off turnovers.

Still, Gonzaga was within striking distance most of the way. FSU closed the half with an 11-1 run to take a 41-32 lead.

The Zags pulled within four or five on several occasions in the second half. The Seminoles finished strong, using a late 8-1 run to create a double-digit lead.

“A couple of key stretches, one at the tail end of the half when we got it back to even and made a couple of tough decisions,” Few said. “And also an important stretch from the 14-minute mark to 5 minutes left when we had it down to four or five and had a couple of empty possessions.

“We just never generated any really consistent offensive rhythm because of their length, athleticism, aggressiveness and switching.”

Gonzaga fell behind 16-6 early as the Seminoles drove inside for buckets, free throws and a pair of draw-and-dish dunks.

The Zags trailed by as many as 12 before switching to a zone defense that temporarily baffled FSU. The zone closed off the lane for the most part and the Seminoles began misfiring from the perimeter.

Meanwhile, Williams and Hachimura got GU’s offense untracked. The pair combined for 17 points, applied foul pressure on FSU’s rotation of three centers and helped Gonzaga pull even at 23. Perkins’ pull-up 3-pointer gave the Zags a 26-23 lead and it stayed tight until Hachimura and Williams each picked up their second fouls.

Both went to the bench – at one point Jeremy Jones was at power forward and Corey Kispert at center – and the Seminoles finally dialed back in from beyond the arc. C.J. Walker hit a pair of 3s and P.J. Savoy added another as Florida State grabbed a 41-32 halftime lead.