No. 1 Texas thrashes Gonzaga, sails into Elite Eight

Mar 29, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Shay Holle (10) dribbles the basketball during the first half against Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Kaylynne Truong (14) in the semifinals of the Portland Regional of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

PORTLAND, Ore. — Aaliyah Moore had a terrific all-around game and Texas used suffocating defense to throttle Gonzaga 69-47 on Friday in the Portland 4 Region semifinals.

Moore collected 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the No. 1 seed Longhorns (33-4) as they advanced to an Elite Eight matchup with North Carolina State on Sunday.

Yvonne Ejim led Gonzaga (32-4) with 14 points, but the senior — who came in with a 19.9-point scoring average — shot 4-for-10 from the field and fouled out late in the game.

The Bulldogs shot only 26.5 percent from the field (13-for-49) and were 4-for-22 (18.2 percent) from 3-point territory as Texas held them to their lowest scoring total of the season.

Gonzaga came into the game shooting 40.6 percent on 3-point attempts with an average of 9.5 makes a game.

“We were contesting everything,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. “It’s not like they just missed them. They contested off of them. The communication was on point on defense the entire way.”

Texas shot 50 percent from the field (26-for-52) and the 3-point arc (5-for-10) and 80 percent (12-for-15) from the free-throw line. Shaylee Gonzalez scored 15 points and Shay Holle added 12 for the Longhorns.

Madison Booker, the Big 12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, was not a factor. She had more turnovers (seven) than points (six) and made 3 of 8 shots from the field while adding two assists in 25 minutes.

Trailing by 19 points at the half, Gonzaga missed its first four shots of the third quarter and fell behind 41-20. The Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run to draw within 12, but Texas extended the difference to 54-35 after three quarters, and the Zags got no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

“This group right here, they had a little edge to them,” Schaefer said. “I don’t think you want to play this team when they have an edge. It’s not like they need anything to motivate them, but they’re highly motivated right now.”

Texas held a 37-18 lead at halftime as Gonzaga made only 3 of 21 field-goal attempts in the first half, with four of the misses airballs. Holle led the way with 10 points as the Longhorns shot 51.9 percent from the field in the half.

Ejim had three fouls and played only 11 minutes in the first half, scoring six points on 6-of-6 shooting from the foul line.

–Field Level Media

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