What went right: The Buffs played very well in the first half and took a 28-27 lead into the break. They also did a solid job in rebounding and never let Stanford's offense get too comfortable.
What went wrong: The offense went cold in the second half (8-for-35 from the floor), allowing Stanford to take control.
Star of the game: Chucky Jeffery. She led the team with 19 points, finishing with 38 points in the tournament.
What's next?: Colorado awaits the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, on March 18.
SEATTLE - Twenty-six minutes into Saturday's Pac-12 Tournament semifinals, the Colorado women's basketball team was in position for a monumental upset.
Then Stanford did what it has done so many times before and ran away from the Buffaloes.
Pac-12 player of the year Chiney Ogwumike was sensational, scoring 25 points and ripping down 19 rebounds, to lead the No. 4 Cardinal to a 61-47 victory against the 18th-ranked Buffaloes at KeyArena.
It was the third time this season that Stanford (30-2) defeated Colorado (25-6).
"Every single Stanford loss hurt a little bit, because we were very confident that we could beat them, especially this time," CU's Arielle Roberson said after the game on AM-760 radio. " We just felt like it was ours."
The top-seeded Cardinal advanced to the Pac-12 Tournament championship game for the 12th time in the 12-year history of the event. They will face third-seeded and 14th-ranked UCLA (25-6) on Sunday at 6 p.m. MST.
Chucky Jeffery finished with 19 points to lead CU, which saw its 10-game winning streak come to a close. Roberson added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, they had no answer for Ogwumike and their own offense went cold after halftime.
The Buffs made just 22.9 percent of their shots (8 of 35) in the second half, and were outscored 25-11 during the final 14 minutes.
"We had really good looks in our offense," CU assistant coach LaTonya Watson said on AM-760. "Our kids executed pretty well and it just seemed like there was a lid on our basket."
CU went into the locker room at halftime with a 28-27 lead. It was just the fourth time all season Stanford had trailed at the half. Then, the Buffs opened the second half with a Lexy Kresl 3-pointer, taking their biggest lead, 31-27.
Their next nine possessions resulted in four turnovers, six missed shots and only two points. Stanford went on a 9-2 run during that stretch.
"When you turn the ball over against a team like Stanford, you're looking at the back of their jerseys and they're scoring in transition," Watson said.
Jeffery hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 36-36 with 14:09 to go, but the final 14 minutes were unkind to the Buffaloes. After Jeffery's 3, Stanford went on a 21-6 run over the next 12 minutes to put the Buffs away.
"They were definitely more physical and we didn't respond to that well," Roberson said. "We stopped crashing the boards when they did that. We knew we needed to get offensive rebounds and I think it kind of shocked us a little bit maybe."
Ogwumike didn't score until 8:58 into the game, but then she went on a tear. She scored nine Cardinal points in a row and hurt the Buffs in a variety of ways throughout the final 30 minutes.
"She's very active, she's very athletic, she's very strong, she's very smart," Roberson said. "She's just an all-around great athlete, great basketball player."
Point guard Amber Orrange (13 points, four steals) also played well for Stanford and Mikaela Ruef scored eight of her 11 points in the second half. Ruef also had seven rebounds and four assists.
Brittany Wilson and Jamee Swan had good moments for the Buffs. Wilson scored six first-half points in helping the Buffs take the lead. Swan, who had her first career double-double in Friday's win against Washington, finished with six points and six rebounds.
Colorado now faces its longest in-season break in six years. The Buffs will find out their postseason destination on March 18 when the NCAA Tournament Selection Show airs. CU's next game is likely to be March 23 in Boulder for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
"First of all, rest," Watson said of how the Buffs will approach this next week. "Our kids have battled really, really hard for 31 games. The last two days playing the way that we play; we play hard and we play physical. Therefore it's taxing on their bodies, mentally and physically."
CU fell to 3-27 all-time against top-5 teams. This was CU's first conference semifinals appearance since 2003 when they were in the Big 12 Conference. Wilson's 3-pointer early in the game was the 100th of her career, making her the 10th player in program history to hit that milestone. Jeffery passed Erin Scholz (1,621 points from 1993-97) for sixth on CU's career scoring list. Jeffery now has 1,636 points. UCLA upset No. 5 and second-seeded California, 70-58, earlier on Saturday. The 14 days between games will be CU's longest break since a 15-day layoff from Dec. 13-28, 2006. Stanford is 9-2 in conference title games and has won the past six. The Cardinal have won 19 consecutive Pac-12 Tournament games.