SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Ronny Turiaf wasn't surprised when winless
Idaho nearly pulled even with Gonzaga (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) in the second half,
and he wasn't surprised that the Vandals' post players were fouling
him with abandon.
"Every time teams play us they come at us with their `A'
game," Turiaf said. "That's what they did tonight."
Turiaf was up to the challenge, scoring a career-high 40 points
and grabbing 11 rebounds as Gonzaga beat Idaho 88-74 on Wednesday
He made 13 of 18 field goals and 14 of 15 free throws to help
Gonzaga (3-0) hold off a spirited challenge from Idaho (0-4) in the
"For me it's always physical," Turiaf said. "Everybody tries
to challenge me and make life difficult at the post."
Mike Kale, Idaho's tallest starter, fouled out early in the
second half. Still, the Vandals used five 3-pointers early in the
half to cut an 11-point halftime deficit to three. They shot
11-of-29 from behind the arc in the game.
"Idaho had a heck of an effort tonight," Gonzaga coach Mark
Dandrick Jones' 3-pointer helped Idaho close to 64-61 with 11:29
left. But Turiaf hit a pair of free throws and a turnaround jumper
as Gonzaga built a 72-64 lead. Adam Morrison followed with a 3, and
Turiaf nailed three free throws and a fadeaway jumper as Gonzaga
took an 80-68 lead.
After a basket by Idaho's Lionel Davis made it 80-70 with 4
minutes left, the Vandals went scoreless for three minutes as
Gonzaga put the game away.
"Turiaf is just a monster inside," Jones said. "We didn't
have an answer for that."
Turiaf became the first Gonzaga player since Jim McPhee in 1990
to score 40 points in a game. Turiaf set his previous career high
with 33 points earlier this season.
Morrison added 13 points for Gonzaga, and Derek Raivio and Sean
Mallon scored 11 each.
Jones led Idaho with 23 points, and Dillon Higdon added 16.
"I thought we put ourselves in a position to make a run,"
Idaho coach Leonard Perry said. "We just couldn't answer the bell
in terms of getting the shots we needed."
Gonzaga shot 56 percent in the game and outrebounded the Vandals
Turiaf had 21 first-half points, shooting 8-of-11, as Gonzaga
took a 47-36 lead.
Junior college transfer J.P. Batista played in his first game
for Gonzaga after missing the first two while the NCAA investigated
his junior college career.
The highly touted junior college transfer was suspended initially for three games because his Barton County (Kansas) Community College coach paid to send him to a summer camp in Atlanta after his freshman year.
Batista was expected to contend for a starting position and missed Gonzaga's first two games against Portland State and Montana.
Gonzaga has won 15 straight home games and is 28-0 at home when
ranked. The Bulldogs have won five straight against Idaho.
The Zags face their toughest test so far this season on Saturday
against No. 5 Illinois at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis.