Gonzaga responds vs. Akron for comeback win
Josh Heytvelt and Gonzaga already knew they could win artistically. Now the Zags know they can win an alley fight, too.
'Zags rally back
Video: Hear from Gonzaga after their 77-64 win over Akron in the South Regional.
Rugged Akron was shoving its way to a huge upset over stylish Gonzaga, up by six in the second half. The Bulldogs, loaded with what they feel is their most talented team in years, seemed set up for a third-straight first-round flop.
"They came out throwing blows and had us rattled," said Heytvelt. "Then we snapped out of it."
Heytvelt snapped back most decisively. The senior scored 22 points - seven during a late game-breaking run - and the Bulldogs rallied to get past the determined but ultimately overmatched Zips 77-64 on Thursday night in the South Regional.
The Zags are in their 11th consecutive NCAA tournament but had lost in the first round of the last two.
"To get this first one is a really big deal," said senior Jeremy Pargo, whose soaring right-handed slam punctuated the 19th win in 20 games for Gonzaga (27-5). "The last two years, we didn't do this."
Heytvelt simply sighed and said, "Oh, it was a weight off the chest."