By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
December has been good to Anthony Brown. He's reached double figures in three of the four games played during the month. It's a good sign for Stanford moving forward.
Brown scored a season-high 16 points in helping Stanford win its fifth straight, beating Bethune-Cookman, 75-56, Monday night.
"I'm getting a lot more comfortable and things are starting to connect," Brown said. "My right knee bothered me a little bit earlier but I am feeling good now."
Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said Brown was "playing more instinctive" after battling injuries all season.
"He's feeling better and getting better results," Dawkins said. "He's rounding into shape and it's showing."
Josh Owens added 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds for the Cardinal (10-1), which improved to 7-0 at home entering Thursday's contest against Butler.
"Any time you can play a team that has been to back-to-back national championship games, it has to be good for us," Brown said. "You can never underestimate them."
Thursday's game, set for a 6 p.m. tipoff, is expected to draw a near-sellout crowd.
"Last year when we played them you could tell that was a team that knew how to win," Dawkins said. "They have turned out to be a great team to play."
Against the Wildcats, the Cardinal led by as many as 23 points in the second half.
Stanford led by as many as 15 points in the first half before settling for a 33-22 halftime advantage.
Gabriel Harris, who received a nifty pass from Jarrett Mann following a steal, was called for a technical foul when he hung on the rim after a missed slam with 11:48 remaining to play.
"I thought Jarrett Mann came in and gave us something," Dawkins said. "His energy and experience showed."
Kevin Dukes made made both foul shots and Marc Mack followed with an inside basket as the Wildcats pulled within 46-40 nine seconds later.
Chasson Randle scored the next five points and Aaron Bright hit a 3-pointer to help Stanford regain a double-digit lead and spark a 17-3 run over the next six minutes.
"We kind of got out of ourselves," Brown said. "Coach told us to slow down and get the ball inside. We need to step up our defensive effort."
Stanford ranks second in the Pac-12 and 15th in the nation in scoring defense at 56.1.