With a loaded field in the Maui Invitational looming next week, ninth-ranked Gonzaga could be excused for looking past its season opener...

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SPOKANE — With a loaded field in the Maui Invitational looming next week, ninth-ranked Gonzaga could be excused for looking past its season opener against Idaho.


But forward Adam Morrison insisted the Zags gave their rival plenty of respect in a 69-60 victory Friday night.


“Idaho is better than people think,” said Morrison, a preseason Associated Press All-American who scored 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field.


Gonzaga, coached by Mark Few, and host Chaminade are the only schools in the eight-team Maui field that have not won a national title. Gonzaga plays No. 24 Maryland on Monday.


“I feel we are the underdogs,” Morrison said of the tournament in Hawaii.


Idaho led 34-33 at halftime, and Gonzaga could not relax until J.P. Batista made three consecutive short baskets for a 65-59 lead with 2:08 left.


“Coach Few teaches us to attack the zone inside,” said Batista, who led all scorers with 23 points, made 10 of 13 shots from the field and added nine rebounds.


Gonzaga has won 26 in a row at home, the longest Division I men’s streak in the nation.


Brett Ledbetter led Idaho with 14 points.


Few said it took most of the game for his team to work the ball inside. Gonzaga missed its first nine three-point attempts, and finished 4 of 19 from long range.


“We were shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half, shooting off the first pass every time,” Few said.


GONZAGA 69, IDAHO 60


IDAHO (0-1) — Shepard 3-12 3-4 11, Kale 3-5 1-2 7, Dubois 3-9 1-2 7, Forge 0-0 0-0 0, Ledbetter 5-12 1-1 14, Smith 2-6 0-0 5, Vrzina 2-2 0-0 5, Watson 2-9 5-6 9, Jakovljevic 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 21-57 11-15 60.


GONZAGA (1-0) — Doudney 0-0 0-0 0, Mallon 4-8 1-2 9, Morrison 6-14 2-2 15, Raivio 7-14 2-2 19, Altidor-Cespedes 0-3 0-0 0, Batista 10-13 3-3 23, Pendergraft 1-2 1-2 3, Gurganious 0-0 0-0 0, Pargo 0-2 0-1 0. Totals 28-56 9-12 69.


Halftime — Idaho 34-33. Three-point goals — Idaho 7-22 (Ledbetter 3-9, Shepard 2-6, Vrzina 1-1, Smith 1-3, Dubois 0-1, Watson 0-1, Jakovljevic 0-1), Gonzaga 4-19 (Raivio 3-9, Morrison 1-5, Mallon 0-1, Pargo 0-1, Altidor-Cespedes 0-3). Fouled out — Dubois. Rebounds — Idaho 31 (Kale 8), Gonzaga 40 (Batista 9). Assists — Idaho 12 (Watson 4), Gonzaga 14 (Altidor-Cespedes 5). Total fouls — Idaho 16, Gonzaga 13. A — 6,000.