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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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College Basketball | Gonzaga defense smothers Idaho

SPOKANE — For half the game, Idaho was an interesting opponent for No. 14 Gonzaga.

But Gonzaga played what coach Mark Few called its best defense in his tenure in the second half, holding the Vandals to 13 points on the way to an 80-43 victory Tuesday.

"I've been here 19 years," Few said. "That's the best we've ever had."

After trailing 36-30 at halftime, the Vandals were 5 for 24 in the second half and committed 11 turnovers. That seemed to undo them, as they were 2 for 13 from the free-throw line in the second half and 4 of 18 for the game.

"We can't collapse like that," said Brandon Brown, who led Idaho with 12 points. "We've got to stay together to win games."

The Zags (2-0) put on an incredible defensive display in the second half. They held the Vandals (1-1) to seven points in the first 15 minutes, including a 12-minute span in which they gave up two points.

The Vandals had used aggressive defense to stay close in the first half, and paid for it later as three players fouled out and another had four fouls.

"We told ourselves before the game we were going to be the aggressors," coach George Pfeifer said. "We ran out of bodies."

Freshman Austin Daye led all scorers with 18 points, 15 in the second half. He also had six of Gonzaga's 10 blocks.

Jeremy Pargo added 14 points for the Zags, while Matt Bouldin had 12 and Abdullahi Kuso had 10. The Zags shot 56 percent, and outrebounded the Vandals 48-29.

Few was critical of his team's "casual" approach in the first half.

"We're not very good when we play cool," Few said.

Larry Gurganious, who finished with seven rebounds and three steals, kept the Zags close in the first half with his defense, Few said.

Forward Darin Nagle, who scored 17 points in the season opener for Idaho, fouled out with no points and no rebounds midway through the second half.

Other Top 25 men

At No. 12 Michigan St. 86, Chicago St. 53

Raymar Morgan collected 25 points and 15 rebounds to help the Spartans (1-0) overwhelm the Cougars (0-2) in a first-round game of the CBE Classic.

All-American Drew Neitzel added 12 points for Michigan State.

At No. 15 Texas A&M 67,

Oral Roberts 53

Josh Carter scored 15 points and Chinemelu Elonu keyed a second-half spurt to help the Aggies (2-0) beat the Golden Eagles (1-1) in an NIT Season Tip-Off game.

Top 10 women

At No. 3 Maryland 91, Delaware 43

Kristi Toliver had 19 points and 10 assists and Marissa Coleman had 16 points and five assists to help the Terrapins (3-0) beat the Blue Hens (1-1) in the quarterfinal round of the Women's NIT.

At No. 7 North Carolina 98, Elon 53

Rashanda McCants scored 16 points to lead the Tar Heels (3-0) to a rout of the Phoenix (1-3).

LaToya Pringle added 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting for North Carolina.

At No. 8 Georgia 105,

Georgia Southern 66

Tasha Humphrey scored 18 points to help the Bulldogs (3-0) defeat the Eagles (1-2).

Notes

• North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough indicated he is ready for the top-ranked Tar Heels' opener against Davidson today after injuring his thumb in an exhibition game last week.

The junior, who was the leading vote-getter on The Associated Press preseason All-America team, jammed his right thumb Friday night.

• Lipscomb missed tying the Division I women's record for biggest winning margin by a point with a 123-22 rout of Fisk in Nashville, Tenn.

In 1986, Grambling beat Jarvis Christian by 102 points.

Lipscomb outrebounded Fisk 67-19 and led 61-10 at the half.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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