What went right: CU turned 11 offensive rebounds into a 13-5 advantage on second-chance points, but that wasn't nearly enough to overcome Stanford's hot second half.
What went wrong: Take your pick. Stanford shot 72 percent in the second half while the Buffs finished 3-for-16 on 3-pointers.
Star of the game: Tyler Bey. The sophomore forward paced the Buffs with 17 points and also grabbed five rebounds.
What's next: The Buffs finally return home to host the Oregon schools, beginning with a Thursday date against Oregon State (7 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
STANFORD, Calif. — Colorado ended one streak Thursday night by picking up their first win at Cal's Haas Pavilion since joining the Pac-12 Conference.
The Buffaloes saw another lengthy streak come to an end Saturday night at Stanford, but in this case it wasn't a good thing. Unable to sustain the momentum from a solid first half, the Buffs were thoroughly outplayed after halftime as the Cardinal steadily pulled away for a 75-62 victory Saturday at Maples Pavilion.
The loss ended CU's nine-game winning streak against Stanford, and it also prevented the Buffs from posting just their second two-game road sweep in conference play since joining the Pac-12.
CU limited Stanford to a .375 mark from the field over the first 20 minutes while taking a six-point lead at the break, but the Cardinal offense erupted with a 72-percent performance (18-for-25) after halftime.
"It's the same old stuff with this team," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "When you have a problem, if you don't fix the problem, the problem is going to keep happening. The problem that we have right now is twofold. Number one, we don't understand that basketball is a 40-minute game. And we don't handle adversity well enough. That's the bottom line.
"In the first half, we couldn't have been happier with our execution defensively of the game plan and the toughness factor. Holding them to 37 percent and outrebounding them by seven. Then in the second half we come out and they shoot 72 percent and they're plus-seven on the boards. That toughness factor went away."
CU led the entire first half and took a 40-31 lead on a 3-point play by Tyler Bey just 19 seconds into the second half. From there, though, it was all Stanford, with the Cardinal outscoring the Buffs 44-22 the rest of the way.
A dunk by Stanford's Josh Sharma gave the Cardinal its first lead with 11 minutes, 11 seconds remaining, and the play was part of a 13-2 Stanford run that ended with a 3-point play by the Cardinal's Bryce Wills and a 56-48 lead for the hosts.
An inside bucket by the Buffs' Lucas Siewert kept CU within 60-56 with a little less than six minutes remaining, but 10 straight points by Stanford sealed the Buffs' fate.
"We just didn't guard," CU point guard McKinley Wright said. "We've got to guard if we want to win. They did the same thing, we just didn't guard. They shot 72 percent the second half. We've got to figure out how to stop teams from scoring. We've got to guard. That's it. There's nothing wrong with the offense. We've got to guard."
CU did a commendable defensive job on Stanford's KZ Okpala, who entered the game with team-leading totals of 18.2 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game. Okpala didn't record a point or a rebound in the first half and finished with just five points and one rebound, but other Cardinal players feasted on the Buffs' faltering defense. Sophomore guard Oscar da Silva was averaging 8.7 points in league games, but he fell just two points shy of his career-high with 21 points. Wills entered the game averaging 8.1 points in Pac-12 games but finished with 12 points and five assists.
While the Buffs were relatively efficient offensively in the first half, they finished just 3-for-16 on 3-pointers and went 7-for-13 at the free throw line, including a 3-for-7 mark in the second half.
"We had some good shots at the rim that didn't go in," Boyle said. "We had some really good shots at the high post that didn't go in. We had some good threes that didn't go in. But when you let that affect you on the defensive end — and that's the adversity I'm talking about. When our guys face adversity on offense, they let it affect them defensively. That is a sign of mental weakness. We have to turn that into mental toughness."
STANFORD 75, COLORADO 62
COLORADO (11-8, 2-5 Pac-12)
Siewert 6-15 1-2 13, Gatling 4-10 0-2 10, M.Wright 6-12 1-2 14, Bey 8-16 1-1 17, Schwartz 0-2 2-2 2, Battey 2-6 2-4 6, Parquet 0-0 0-0 0, Kountz 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 26-65 7-13 62.
STANFORD (10-10, 3-5 Pac-12)
da Silva 8-13 2-2 21, Okpala 2-8 0-0 5, Sharma 3-3 0-0 6, Davis 5-8 5-5 16, Wills 4-7 4-5 12, Pugh 0-1 0-0 0, Delaire 3-5 0-0 7, Kisunas 0-0 1-2 1, White 0-0 0-0 0, Sheffield 2-5 2-2 7. Totals 27-50 14-16 75.
Halftime — Colorado 37-31. 3-point goals — Colorado 3-17 (Gatling 2-8, M.Wright 1-2, Schwartz 0-1, Kountz 0-2, Siewert 0-4), Stanford 7-21 (da Silva 3-7, Okpala 1-2, Delaire 1-2, Davis 1-3, Sheffield 1-4, Pugh 0-1, Wills 0-2). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Colorado 24 (Battey 6), Stanford 27 (da Silva, Wills 7). Assists — Colorado 13 (M.Wright, Kountz 4), Stanford 14 (Davis 6). Total fouls — Colorado 14, Stanford 17. Technicals — Davis. A — 3,648.