Stanford holds off Northern Arizona 66-57
STANFORD, Calif. (AP)—Landry Fields had 15 points and seven rebounds and Stanford remained unbeaten under first-year coach Johnny Dawkins with a hard-fought 66-57 victory over Northern Arizona on Wednesday night.
The Cardinal (6-0) are off to their best start since winning 26 straight games to begin the 2003-04 season, but they withstood a scrappy Lumberjacks team that fought back with a strong second half.
Athletic Stanford sophomore Josh Owens had three dunks on the way to 11 points, including a one-handed tomahawk jam, and also grabbed eight rebounds. Kenny Brown added 12 points off the bench as Stanford won the first ever meeting between these programs.
Zarko Comagic scored 19 points and Shane Johannsen added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Lumberjacks (3-6), who had won two in a row after losing five of their first six. NAU coach Mike Adras is tied for sixth on the Big Sky all-time wins list with 153—one behind Mike Montgomery, the former Montana and Stanford coach who is in his first season coaching California.
Trailing 44-27, Northern Arizona produced a 14-0 run that cut Stanford’s lead to 44-41 with 11:15 to play. Comagic’s steal and dunk in transition trimmed the deficit to 10 points, then he had a layin at the 11:48 mark and converted a three-point play at 11:15 that capped the spurt.
Fields then scored five straight Stanford points to kick off the decisive 16-1 run by the Cardinal. Stanford began a stretch with seven games over 19 days — with five of their next six at home in Maples Pavilion, save for Tuesday’s game at Santa Clara when Stanford associate head coach Dick Davey returns to where he was head coach for 15 years and worked 30 years overall.
Matt Johnson’s 3-pointer with 41 seconds remaining pulled NAU within 63-57 but Stanford held on. The Cardinal capitalized on the Lumberjacks’ mistakes, scoring 23 points off NAU’s 19 turnovers.
This was one of four road games for NAU to conclude nonconference play, a trip that will cover 4,124 miles before the team opens Big Sky Conference action at home against Eastern Washington on Jan. 2.
Fields scored five points during Stanford’s 13-0 run midway through the first half that gave the Cardinal a 35-23 lead at the break. NAU committed five turnovers in the opening seven minutes and 13 in the first half but stayed in the game with its solid shooting.
Stanford missed its initial nine 3-point tries before Fields hit with 9:48 remaining in the first half and went 4-of-18 from long distance for the game after coming in averaging 7.8 3s per contest.