Stanford survives late-game offensive onslaught from Colorado, 62-54

Stanford escapes close contest against Colorado

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No. 6 Stanford (16-2, 13-2 Pac-12) fought off a late-game upset effort by Colorado (6-9, 4-8) Friday night at Maples Pavilion, 62-54. The Cardinal, playing on their home court for the first time since Nov. 25, looked to redeem themselves after losing in overtime 77-72 to the Buffs on a road trip to Boulder on Jan. 17.

What started as a rout, as the Cardinal led 37-15 at halftime and amassed a 25-point lead in the third quarter, turned into a fourth-quarter scramble. The scrappy Buffs held the Cardinal to just 13 fourth period points while scoring 28 on the visitor’s court.

“I liked our first three quarters. I liked our first half a lot, and I was disappointed with our second half,” Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said, noting her team’s defense and propensity to foul too much during the game as reasons why Colorado came so close to another upset.

“We had a cushion,” VanDerveer said. “and we were able to kind of ride that one out.”

After being on the road for two months due to a Santa Clara County health mandate banning contact sports, Stanford put forth a balanced effort to lead wire-to-wire but relied on free throws from freshman forward Cameron Brink late in the game to survive the Buffs.

Colorado had to play without the services of two starting guards: sophomore Jaylyn Sherrod and junior Aubrey Knight. Sherrod is out for the rest of the season after hip surgery in late January. She averaged 10.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. She also led the Buffs in steals. Knight, who was on the bench with a boot on her left foot, averages 5.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest.

The Buffs made an impressive effort late in the game, getting within six after a 20-0 run led by senior forward Mya Hollingshed, who fouled out with 2:22 left in the game. But the Buffs were not done fighting with the star heading to the sideline. With approximately two minutes left, junior guard Lesila Finau nailed a trey and made it a four-point game.

After free throws from Brink, the Buffs cut their deficit down to four again after a layup from sophomore forward Charlotte Whitaker at 1:28. Stanford closed out the quarter on a 7-4 run, with all seven of those points coming from free throws.

“We have to bottle that energy that we played with in the second half and play like that for 40 minutes,” Colorado head coach JR Payne said of her team’s effort. “It doesn’t matter who is in the lineup. We might lose all of our starting lineup but that energy and tenacity and sort of fervor we were playing with needs to be for 40 minutes.”

Senior guard Kiana Williams led the Cardinal with 16 points. While she only made two treys in the game, it was enough to push her to second on the all-time list for made three-pointers in program history, passing Jeanette Pohlen’s 268 and trailing Candice Wiggins (295).

Brink finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, and six blocks. Fifth-year guard Anna Wilson added 11 points, while junior guard Lacie Hull contributed 10 points plus seven rebounds.

Hollingshed scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds for the Buffs. Finau, who moved into the starting lineup, had 10 points.

Stanford stays at home to host Utah on Sunday. Colorado heads across the Bay to play at California on the same day.

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One Comment

  • When the other team presses and has to steal the ball, shouldn’t you get lay-ups not 3s. First poor game from Lexie and Lacie stepped with one of her best. Was Lexie hurting? With Brink and a 6’8” freshman will the opposition get anything from less than 10 feet.

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