STANFORD, Calif. – Holding the No. 2 team in the country to 63 points on their home court should give the Colorado women’s basketball team a shot to win.
An abysmal day offensively, however, made it difficult for the Buffaloes to keep up with the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday, as they fell 63-46 at Maples Pavilion.
“They are good defensively,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “I thought they were better defensively and with our struggle to score the ball today at almost every position it made them look even better.”
Senior guard Sila Finau led the Buffs with 11 points and Mya Hollingshed posted a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds), but CU was routed in the second half.
The Buffs (16-7, 5-7 Pac-12) had a two-game win streak snapped as Stanford (21-3, 12-0) took control after halftime.
CU led 30-29 at intermission but made just 16.1 percent of its shots (5-for-31) in the second half. The Buffs finished with a season-worst shooting percentage of 25.9 (14-of-54).
A Finau 3-pointer gave CU its biggest lead of the day, 33-31, with 7 minutes, 19 seconds to play in the third quarter. Over the next 10:22, however, the Buffs went 1-for-15 from the floor and fell behind 50-38.
Stanford led by as many as 19 points in the fourth. In addition to holding the Buffs to a low percentage, the Cardinal forced 21 turnovers, had 12 steals and blocked nine shots.
“They’re bigger and stronger than us at almost every position on the floor,” Payne said. “So it makes it very difficult. Every touch is difficult. Every look at the basket is not just contested, but extremely contested. If you’re soft at all around the basket, which I think some of us were tonight, then it just really makes it a lot harder.”
A 12-2 run by CU, sparked by Tameiya Sadler and Quay Miller turned a nine-point deficit into a one-point lead at the break.
“That’s what brought us back in the game was our transition offense, and really just capitalizing on our buckets and rebounds and steals,” said Sadler, who had seven points. “Once we got our defensive intensity up that really pushed our pace on offense and we were just scoring in transition.”
In the second half, however, the Buffs didn’t get the same production in transition and Sadler said the Cardinal did a good job of getting the Buffs out of rhythm.
“We were rushed,” she said. “If we would have slowed down it would have been easier.”
It certainly didn’t help that Hollingshed played much of the game in foul trouble. She picked up her third foul with 6:30 to play in the second quarter and sat the rest of the half. With Stanford leading by three in the third quarter, Hollingshed picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench for the next 7:16.
With or without Hollingshed on the court, however, the Buffs’ inability to generate much offense cost them an opportunity to pull the upset.
“It was just more our struggle to score that made it such a difficult time to come back,” Payne said.
Despite the disappointment, Payne said the Buffs feel OK about splitting their weekend set in the Bay Area. They knocked off California on Friday.
“We have to keep perspective,” she said. “We felt like we could win this game. We knew that things would have to go well for us to win this game, but they are No. 2 in the country for a reason.
“We played great Friday, we played great for 20 minutes of this game here and led the No. 2 team in the country on their home floor where it’s always extremely difficult to win. It’s short memory; you’ve got to move on. We have no time to feel sorry for ourselves or wallow in being disappointed. Learn from it, move on and get ready for UCLA.”
CU’s shooting percentage was its worst since hitting 25.4 percent at Oregon on Feb. 3, 2019. … Finau led the Buffs in scoring for the first time in her career. … Hollingshed posted her seventh double-double of the season. It was the 23rd of her career, tied with Sandy Bean (1978-82) for sixth in CU history. … Out-rebounded by 22 against the Cardinal in Boulder on Jan. 14, the Buffs matched Stanford with 39 rebounds on Sunday. … CU has held Stanford to 60 and 63 points in two meetings this year. The Cardinal have scored at least 75 points in each of their other 10 Pac-12 games. … CU is 0-13 all-time at Maples Pavilion.
What went right: CU put forth a great effort, particularly in rebounding, matching the Cardinal at 39-39. The Buffs also played solid defense throughout the day.
What went wrong: Offense was a struggle, particularly in the second half. The Buffs finished with a season-low shooting percentage (25.9), 21 turnovers and had nine shots blocked.
Star of the game: Sila Finau. For the first time in her career, she led the Buffs in scoring (11 points), while adding five rebounds and two blocked shots.
What’s next: The Buffs visit UCLA on Friday at 8 p.m. MST.
No. 2 Stanford 63, Colorado 46
COLORADO (16-7, 5-7 Pac-12)
Sherrod 0-5 1-2 1, Sadler 2-8 3-4 7, Finau 3-9 3-4 11, Hollingshed 4-6 0-0 10, Tuitele 1-6 2-2 5, Jones 2-4 0-0 4, Formann 0-3 0-0 0, Miller 2-11 4-6 8, Blacksten 0-1 0-0 0, Wetta 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-54 13-18 46.
STANFORD (21-3, 12-0 Pac-12)
Wilson 4-8 2-2 10, Le. Hull 5-12 1-2 14, Brink 4-10 3-4 11, La. Hull 2-4 0-0 5, Jones 5-13 0-0 10, Emma-Nnopu 0-0 0-0 0, Belibi 1-1 0-0 2, Jerome 0-0 0-0 0, Prechtel 1-1 0-0 2, Hamilton 0-0 0-0 0, Demetre 0-1 0-0 0, Jump 3-8 0-0 8, Iriafen 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 25-59 7-10 63.
Colorado 14 16 5 11 – 46
Stanford 20 9 14 20 – 63
3-point goals – CU 5-17 (Finau 2-5, Hollingshed 2-2, Tuitele 1-3, Miller 0-3, Sherrod 0-2, Formann 0-2), Stanford 6-19 (Le. Hull 3-7, Jump 2-7, La.Hull 1-3, Wilson 0-1, Jones 0-1). Rebounds – CU 39 (Hollingshed 10), Stanford 39 (Brink 11). Assists – CU 6 (Sherrod 4), Stanford 10 (Wilson 5). Steals – CU 9 (Miller 4), Stanford 12 (Le. Hull 6). Turnovers – CU 21, Stanford 13. Total fouls – CU 17, Stanford 15. Fouled out – None. A – 3,038.