SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP)—Landry Fields scored 18 points and unbeaten Stanford made associate head coach Dick Davey a winner in his return to his old stomping grounds at Santa Clara with a hard-fought 77-69 victory Tuesday night.
Anthony Goods added 16 points and Mitch Johnson 14 as Stanford (8-0) extended the Cardinal’s best start to a season since opening the 2003-04 campaign with 26 straight victories.
John Bryant, the Broncos’ 6-foot-11, 275-pound center, had 27 points and a career-high 22 rebounds to lead scrappy Santa Clara (5-7), which played tenacious defense to force the Cardinal to make adjustments.
James Rahon scored eight straight points with a pair of 3-pointers during one second-half stretch that trimmed Stanford’s lead to 59-55 with 8:03 remaining. Rahon scored all but one of his nine points after halftime.
The 66-year-old Davey—in his first season at Stanford under new Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins—spent 30 years coaching at Santa Clara, including 15 as head coach through the 2006-07 season before the school made a switch and hired Kerry Keating.
Bryant scored back-to-back baskets that cut Stanford’s lead to single digits at 50-41 with 13:27 to play. But Kenny Brown followed with five straight points on the other end.
Bryant was the West Coast Conference’s top rebounder and shot blocker and second-leading scorer last season. He got off to a slow start in this game for the Broncos, shooting 3-for-9 in the first half before finishing 9-of-19. Ten of his rebounds came on the offensive glass. Perry Petty had 17 points, four assists and four steals in Santa Clara’s third straight loss following a four-game winning streak.
Stanford was outrebounded 43-27 but has won 10 of the last 12 meetings in the series, including a 74-48 rout last season at Maples Pavilion. This marked the Cardinal’s first road victory in the Bay Area rivalry since a 78-63 win in the championship game of the Cable Car Classic on Dec. 30, 2000.
Davey sat in the end bleachers more than an hour before tipoff watching his current and former players warm up for the game, and many people stopped to greet him in the process. When he was quickly announced during pregame introductions at the Leavey Center, Davey received a loud roar.
Santa Clara began the game 3-for-10 and shot only 35 percent in the first half.
After Stanford built a 10-point lead on two free throws by Goods at the 9:56 mark of the first half, Santa Clara answered with an 8-2 spurt only for the Cardinal to go on an 11-2 run on the way to a 38-28 halftime lead.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Randy Winn was among some of Davey’s former players to attend the game.