Gonzaga beats Utah 77-66 to reach Sweet 16 for first time since 2015.

SPOKANE — On Monday night, fourth-seeded Gonzaga defeated No. 5 seed Utah 77-66 in the NCAA Tournament second round to move to the Sweet 16 for the first time in nearly a decade. Kayleigh Truong scored 21 points while Yvonne Ejim contributed 17 points and 13 rebounds

The Zags reached their first regional semifinal since 2015 after overcoming an early deficit with a flurry of 3-point shooting in the second and third quarters. Gonzaga (32-3) will play top-seeded Texas in the Portland 4 Regional semifinal on Friday in Portland, Oregon.

The whole team helped Gonzaga. Truong and twin sister Kaylynne scored 12 3-pointers in the first three quarters as the Bulldogs led by 21. Kaylynne Truong scored 14 and Elisa Hollingsworth 13. After winning, the Bulldogs did a victory lap around the Kennel Club's packed student section after shooting 12 of 22 from beyond the 3-point line.

In her final game for Utah (23-11), Alissa Pili scored 35 points, her seventh 30-point game of the season. Pili scored the first 10 points for the Utes and ended her career with a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left before hugging Utah coach Lynne Roberts. Utah wanted to return to the regional semifinals after losing 66-63 to eventual national champion LSU last year. Gonzaga was behind by seven early in the second quarter before a shooting spree.

During a 19-3 run, Gonzaga made seven of its next eight shots, including five 3-pointers by five players. Utah finally broke its drought with six seconds left in the half when Dasia Young scored on a driving layup. The halftime deficit was 10.

Gonzaga continued its surge after halftime. Bulldogs scored the first 11 of the second half, including Kaylynne Truong's desperation 3 as the shot clock expired and Hollingsworth's 3-point play to lead 55-34.

After Pili scored six straight, Utah pulled within 67-61 with 4:49 left. The Utes came only that close. Gonzaga made five of six free throws, Utah missed its next five attempts, and Ejim's rebound basket with 1:50 left gave Gonzaga a 74-61 lead.

Up next Gonzaga reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015. Gonzaga will compete in the regional semifinals for the sixth time after losing in the second round in 2022 and 2019. First-year coach Lisa Fortier's Gonzaga lost to Tennessee in overtime in 2015.

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