Late run lifts No. 9 Gonzaga past Idaho
Spokane, WA (Sports Network) – J.P. Batista scored 23 points and grabbed nine
rebounds as ninth-ranked Gonzaga held off Idaho, 69-60, in the season-opener
for both clubs.
Derek Raivio added 19 points for the Bulldogs (1-0), who had to close the game
with a 10-3 run to escape with the nine-point victory. Adam Morrison tallied
15 points and grabbed eight boards as Gonzaga next heads to the Maui
Invitational where it will open play against 24th-ranked Maryland on Monday.
Brett Ledbetter scored 14 points for the Vandals (0-1), who drew within 59-57
with just under five minutes remaining, but couldn’t get any closer and fell
to the Zags for a sixth straight time.
Following Tanoris Shepard’s three-pointer that got Idaho within two points
with 4:48 on the clock, Batista took over. The forward scored the first six
points for the Bulldogs during a game-ending 10-3 spurt.
Shepard ended with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists for Idaho, which
is coming off a 22-loss campaign.
The Vandals held just one lead in the game, going into halftime with a 34-33
lead courtesy of two free throws by Shepard with six seconds left in the
The team extended the advantage to 36-33 on a Keoni Watson bucket early in the
second half, but the Zags scored six straight points and 11 of the next 13 to
take the lead for good. Sean Mallon’s layup with 5:06 elapsed in the half
ended the run.
Idaho continues to lead the all-time series 67-61…Gonzaga outboarded the
Vandals 40-31…Mallon ended with nine points and seven rebounds…Watson
tallied nine points and dished out four assists.