No. 13 Stanford Remains Unbeaten

Dec 13, 2003

AP Sports Writer

STANFORD, Calif. - There were about four minutes left when Stanford assistant coach Russell Turner told Justin Davis he had no turnovers and he'd better keep it that way.

No problem.

'That's all I wanted to do,' Davis said. 'I was kind of surprised I didn't have any turnovers. I'm averaging six.'

Davis scored a season-high 21 points and unbeaten and 13th-ranked Stanford snapped UNLV's four-game winning streak, defeating the Runnin' Rebels 86-71 on Saturday.

Davis, three points shy of his career high, and Rob Little dominated the paint in only the third meeting between the schools and Stanford's first home game since beating Sacramento State on Nov. 22.

Davis, a senior forward, received a warm ovation when he left the game with 1:52 remaining. He also had 10 rebounds, three assists and only one foul in arguably the most effective game of his career. He was 9-for-10 from the field.

'I just slowed it down a notch,' he said. 'I realized by looking at film that I was going too aggressively to the basket most of the time.'

Little added eight points and five rebounds and Matt Lottich had 17 points and six assists for the scrappy Cardinal (5-0), who held a 38-18 rebounding edge.

Romel Beck had 17 points and J.K. Edwards added 12 for the Runnin' Rebels (5-2), whose only other loss was 74-62 to Nevada on Nov. 24.

Stanford was sharp in its first game since a 64-58 win over then-No. 1 Kansas at last weekend's John Wooden Classic. The Cardinal shot 56.6 percent and outhustled UNLV to loose balls.

Stanford played without sophomore point guard and leading scorer Chris Hernandez, who has been bothered by back spasms. Jason Haas started in his place and shot an airball from 3-point range early in the first half but overall was effective running the show. He finished with six points and five assists.

'He came in and they didn't miss a beat,' UNLV coach Charlie Spoonhour said. 'Stanford is big and strong and they have a very economical game. They don't try to do anything outrageous out there.'

After UNLV pulled within 10 midway through the second half, Stanford got a lift from reserve forward Matt Haryasz with eight straight points in a 10-2 run. Haryasz, a sophomore, finished with a career-high 10 points in 13 minutes - but did most of his scoring in a 3�-minute span.

The Cardinal's pressure man-to-man defense led to steals, transition baskets and poor passes by the Rebels - the same defense that flustered Kansas. The Jayhawks, who dropped to No. 5 in this week's poll after the loss, shot 36.7 percent to Stanford's 32.7 percent.

Stanford used quick ball movement to pound it inside and got consecutive easy hoops from Davis and Little to go ahead 34-23 with 4:11 left in the first half. Davis' three-point play 2:54 before halftime gave Stanford a 15-point lead.

'Justin certainly is capable of playing like that,' Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. 'He got his confidence early. We just want him to get consistent with that kind of performance.'

UNLV ended the first half with three straight 3-pointers to pull within 44-35.

Josh Childress, a junior forward and the team's top returning scorer from last season, has a stress reaction in his left foot and hasn't played yet this season. He's expected back by early January, when the Pac-10 season begins.

'It's definitely a great feeling we can be this good without Josh,' Davis said. 'And we're going to be even better once he gets here.'

Stanford has another big test coming up: a date with No. 17 Gonzaga in next weekend's Pete Newell Challenge. The Bulldogs beat No. 3 Missouri 87-80 in overtime Saturday.

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