for this game

Utah tops Georgetown, makes 1st Sweet 16 in 10 years

Mar 22, 2015 - 3:29 AM Portland, OR ( - Utah is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 10 years.

Brandon Taylor scored 14 points and the fifth-seeded Utes pulled away in the second half for a 75-64 win over Georgetown in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night.

Jakob Poeltl and Delon Wright added 12 points apiece for Utah (26-8), which moved on to face the winner of Sunday's game between first-seeded Duke and eighth-seeded San Diego State.

"Just a little bit surreal at this point," said fourth-year Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak.

L.J. Peak scored 18 points to lead fourth-seeded Georgetown (22-11).

The Hoyas led by as much as 11 points in the first half but were knocked out of the tournament by a lower seed for the sixth consecutive time since making the Final Four in 2007.

"(It's) disappointing when your season comes to an end," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. "It's like everything, it's sudden, it's fast. We have five or six seniors in that locker room that have played their last game wearing this uniform. It's difficult."

Utah won by shooting almost 65 percent in the second half after going into the locker room in a 32-32 deadlock with the Hoyas.

The Utes, behind two 3-pointers from Taylor and one from Jordan Loveridge, built a seven-point advantage three minutes into the second half and never trailed again.

But they didn't take control until later, when a 16-6 burst keyed by 3s from Taylor and Dallin Bachynski gave them a 69-59 lead with 1 1/2 minutes to play.

Georgetown never got closer than seven after that.

"It's a feeling I've never felt before," said Taylor. "I'm just super proud and I'm happy for our team. We worked so hard in the summertime. We've worked so hard. To be rewarded like how we are right now, going on to the Sweet 16, it's just amazing. It's an amazing feeling. It feels good."

The Hoyas, back in the tournament after a one-year absence, opened with an 84-74 win over Eastern Washington on Thursday but failed in their bid for a first Sweet 16 appearance since their Final Four run eight years ago.

So many of their recent appearances have ended in upsets, including their last trip to the tournament in 2013, when they lost their opener as a No. 2 seed to that year's Cinderella sensation, Florida Gulf Coast.

They were a No. 3 seed in 2012 when they fell to 11th-seeded North Carolina State in the round of 32. They dropped their openers in 2010 and 2011 as a No. 3 and No. 6 seed and fell to 10th-seeded Davidson as a No. 2 seed in the round of 32 in 2008.

Utah, after beating Stephen F. Austin 57-50 on Thursday and pulling away from the Hoyas on Saturday at Portland's Moda Center, made the regional semifinals for the first time since losing to Kentucky as a No. 6 seed in 2005.

The Utes are in the tournament for the first time since 2009.

Peak and Jabril Trawick each scored 10 points in the first half for Georgetown and the Hoyas led by as much as 11, but an 11-0 Utah run later on pulled the Utes out of a 10-point hole and gave them a 24-23 lead.

Game Notes

Dakarai Tucker scored 11 points and Loveridge had 11 for the Utes, who shot 57.9 percent in the game ... Trawick finished with 10 points. Isaac Copeland scored 14 for the Hoyas and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 12 ... Georgetown shot 43.6 percent.