BOULDER — The spirit was willful and the defense was stellar, but that wasn’t enough to lift Colorado’s women’s basketball team above No. 2 Stanford on Friday night.
Cardinal, the defending national champions, kept their cool, found their attack in the second half and pulled away for a 60-52 win at the CU Events Center. Stanford outscored CU 36-24 in the second half.
Worse than CU’s loss was the late-game injury to junior guard Jaylyn Sherrod. The energizer and the Buffs team manager appeared to injure his right knee and needed help off the field.
The Buffs, who shot a tepid 30% from the field, lost for the first time this season and are now 13-1. The Buffs were led by Quay Miller, who scored 16 points.
Stanford, going evenly matched throughout their roster, improved to 12-3.
The Cardinal only lost twice en route to their national title last season, and one of those losses was a 77-72 overtime loss to Colorado at Boulder last January. It was the first time the Buffaloes had beaten a No. 1-ranked team.
At first, it looked like CU was going to pull off another upset and score a decisive win for the rebuilding program. Stanford, however, was just too deep and too talented.
CU’s defense was frantic and mean in the first quarter. Applying constant pressure on the shaken Cardinal guards, the Buffs forced 13 turnovers — 10 of which came from steals — to take a 15-8 lead. Sherrod had four of those interceptions.
If the Buffs could have drained a few 3-pointers in the first quarter, they might have buried Stanford early. Instead, the Buffs shot 0 for 6, missing several wide-open looks.
In the second quarter, when CU’s Frida Formann finally drained a 3-pointer off the top of the sideline as the shot clock expired, CU’s lead was 28-19 with 2:09 to go. But the Cardinal scored the final five points of the half to cut CU’s lead to 28-24 and build momentum towards the locker room.
Stanford junior guard Haley Jones lifted his team in the third quarter, scoring eight of his team-high 11 points in the quarter.
A nice back-and-forth from Sherrod to Peanut Tuitele, who landed the free kick to end the game 3-pointers, put the Buffs ahead 41-36 late in the third. It felt like Colorado could fend off the Cardinal.
It was not to be.
Stanford began to drain open shots and scored the next 10 points to take a 46-41 lead with 8 minutes left in the game. Colorado, out of gas, never organized a rally.
Stanford’s Ashten Prechtel of Discovery Canyon High School in Colorado Springs did a great job stopping CU forward Mya Hollingshed. Hollingshed, CU’s leading scorer averaging 14.6 points per game, was limited to just seven points on 2-of-12 shooting.
Sport News | CU Buffs start hot but lose to No. 2 Stanford – The Denver Post