PORTLAND, Ore. — Utah outscored Georgetown by nine over the final five minutes to earn a 75-64 victory in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at Moda Center.
Five players scored in double figures, led by guard Brandon Taylor’s 14 points, as the fifth-seeded Utes (26-8) advanced to the South Regionals next Thursday in Houston.
Guard Delon Wright and center Jakob Poeltl each added 12 points for Utah, guard Dakari Tucker scored 11 and forward Jordan Loveridge 10.
Forward L.J. Peak scored 18 points to lead the fourth-seeded Hoyas (22-11). Forward Isaac Copeland added 14, guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 12 and guard Jabril Trawick tallied 10.
Peak and Trawick each scored 10 points in the first half and Georgetown led by as many as 11 points before settling for a 32-32 tie at halftime.
Three straight 3-pointers — one by Loveridge, two by Taylor — gave Utah a 43-36 lead early in the second half. Georgetown responded with six straight points to draw within 43-42 as the Utes went nearly six minutes without a point.
Center Dallin Bachynski’s three-point play finished a six-point run that thrust Utah back on top, 49-42, with 10:30 left. The Hoyas scored the next seven points, center Josh Smith’s dunk knotting the count at 49-49 with 8:25 to play.
The teams traded baskets for the next 2 1/2 minutes. Loveridge sank a 15-footer to give Utah a 57-53 lead with 5:50 to go. Smith-Rivera answered with a jumper to cut the margin to 57-55. Wright sank a pair at the line to make it 59-55 with 4:39 left.
Bachynski knocked down 2 of 4 foul shots to increase Utah’s lead to 61-55 with 3:20 to go.
Peak’s driving layup trimmed Georgetown’s deficit to 61-57, but Taylor’s fadeaway 3-pointer upped the margin to 64-57. Smith-Rivera answered with an 18-footer to cut the difference to 64-59 with 2:30 remaining. Tucker’s layup extended the Utes’ lead to 66-59, and Tucker made it 68-59 with a pair at the line with 1:40 to play.
The Hoyas never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Georgetown jumped out in front 21-10 early, but Utah forged a 14-2 run to seize a 24-23 lead with eight minutes left in the first half. The Hoyas went scoreless for nearly five minutes. Despite Poeltl sitting on the bench for the final 6:23 of the half with two fouls, the Utes went into the break in a tie.
NOTES: This is the first NCAA Tournament appearance by Utah since 2009. It will be the Utes’ first Sweet 16 berth since 2005.