Josh Huestis tied a career-high with 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Aaron Bright hit the go-ahead 3-pointer and Stanford came away with a wild 70-68 victory over Northwestern on Friday.
The Cardinal (8-4) built an 18-point lead in the first half and took a four-point advantage to the locker room after Northwestern (8-4) pulled within one. But they prevailed down the stretch, ending a rough week on a positive note.
It included a loss at North Carolina State and the news that prized prospect Jabari Parker of Chicago was headed to Duke, after tabbing Stanford as one of his five finalists.
Northwestern's Tre Demps nailed a 3-pointer and scored in the lane to tie it at 61 with 6:34 remaining. He hit another 3 with 1:50 left to tie it at 67, but Bright immediately answered with one of his own to make it 70-67.
The Wildcats' Jared Swopshire hit the second of two free throws to make it a two-point game with 48.5 seconds left. Northwestern caught a break when the Cardinal's Dwight Powell threw the ball away trying to hit Huestis inside, but Demps missed on a drive.
The Wildcats' Dave Sobolewski knocked the ball out of bounds with 2.8 seconds left. Powell then caught a long inbounds pass and ran out the clock, preserving the win for Stanford.
Reggie Hearn led Northwestern with 18 points -- 14 in the first half -- but came up favoring his right leg or hip after he got knocked to the floor attempting a layup early in the second half. He hit both free throws and scored on a putback about a minute-and-a-half later, before heading to the sideline.
Considering they were already missing one of their best players in Drew Crawford, the Wildcats really didn't need that. Crawford has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will miss the rest of the season, but Northwestern again got by without him, winning another tight one after squeezing by Texas State on Monday.
Alex Olah added 16 points for the Wildcats.
The way things were going early on, it looked like this would be an easy night for the Cardinal.
Lemons nailed three 3-pointers and Huestis hit one, too, to help spark an 18-2 run in the first half that gave Stanford a 28-12 lead. But rather than wilt, Northwestern came roaring back.
The score was 32-14 with just under seven minutes left, but the Wildcats reeled off 17 straight points while whipping their crowd into a frenzy. A switch to a 1-3-1 trap helped rattle the Cardinal, and when Reggie Hearn hit a layup with 1:32 remaining, Stanford's lead was down to just one.
John Gage finally ended the drought for the Cardinal when he nailed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to make it 35-31 after a turnover by Northwestern.