December 23, 2008

Broncos Fall to Cardinal, 77-69

Dec. 23, 2008

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Despite John Bryant's career-high 22 rebounds and 27 points, Stanford remained unbeaten in defeating Santa Clara with a hard-fought 77-69 victory.

Landry Fields scored 18 points, 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.

The Broncos' 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.

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.

Stanford was outrebounded 43-27 but has won 10 of the last 12 meetings in the series, including a 74-48 victory 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.

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.

The game also featured the return of former Bronco head coach Dick Davey, now the associate head coach at Stanford under first-year head coach Johnny Dawkins.