Now, the Bulldogs will be heading to the National Championship game (for the first time in school history) to play the victor of the second match-up between North Carolina and Oregon.
With the loss, the No. 7 seed Gamecocks Cinderella story ends.
UPDATE: The battle of Final Four newcomers might not be all that pretty to watch for those seeking fluid basketball. No. 1 seed Gonzaga had more paint points in the first 30 minutes of the game than SC had allowed per game (22.5) in the tournament to date.
Gonzaga saw a 65-51 lead become a two-point deficit when SC went on a 16-0 run, but the Zags went back on top by as many as five down the stretch.
The Gamecocks went ahead 35-33 when Wilson, with defenders surrounding her as they did much of the game, found Bianca Cuevas-Moore open for a 3-pointer that she hit from right in front her teammates on the bench.
The lead was fleeting, though. Their run reached 16-0 at that point before Gonzaga ended its scoreless drought.
South Carolina's Thornwell, one of the stars of the tournament, managed just 15 points on 4-12 shooting.
The Bulldogs maintained a slim lead from there and led 75-72 with 12.7 seconds left as the Gamecocks set up a final play. He missed his second free throw on goal but Gonzaga's Zach Collins rebounded and made two free throws to clinch it.
Carrying a cross to Good Friday service and reflecting on Christ's life
Mary's Church at 9 a.m. and embarked on a Stations of the Cross walk along Mount Newton X Road en route to sister church St. Christians of many denominations came together to follow in the footsteps of their Savior in a show of interfaith unity.
Gonzaga will play for its first national title, but the Bulldogs took the hard way to Monday's final.
This national championship trophy will not be going back to Columbia, South Carolina. SC still has a chance for the women's basketball national title - that game is Sunday.
From there, the Bulldogs looked inside to Karnowski who added a couple baskets to what became a 7-0 Gonzaga response.
Gonzaga was fueled by Nigel Williams-Goss, who had 23 points and six assists.
Gonzaga is one of the nation's most efficient offensive teams, but the Zags don't usually do it with a lot of 3-point shooting. With just over five minutes remaining in the first half and Gonzaga leading 31-28, Chris Silva blocked a layup attempt by Przemek Karnowski and inadvertently poked the 300-pound big man in the eye.
"Everybody's always picking against us", Notice said Sunday after his team beat fourth-seeded Florida 77-70 at Madison Square Garden. That made Gonzaga's nine-point halftime lead a distant memory, and gave the Gamecocks their first lead since early in the first half.
Samuelson, who finished scoreless while playing 25 minutes and taking only two shots, returned to start the second half.
The patented second-half SC run came and went, and Gonzaga wasn't fazed. His 21 points came on 11 shots from the field and he only went 3 for 7 from behind the arc.