Fast break

What went right: CU got back to the basics on the glass and defensively, outrebounding Stanford 43-29 and holding the Cardinal to a .315 shooting percentage.

What went wrong: Dom Collier's struggles continued, as he logged his third consecutive game (encompassing 59 minutes) without an assist.

Star of the game: Senior forward Josh Scott recorded the 30th double-double of his career, finishing with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists.

What's next?: The Buffs host Utah in their Pac-12 home opener on Friday at 7 p.m.

STANFORD, Calif. — A win is a win. Particularly on the road in a league where the early indications are that all 12 teams could compete for an NCAA tournament berths.

The answers the Buffs were able to come up with on a short turnaround following a dismal Pac-12 opener at Cal were as impressive as they were practical on Sunday night, even if the caused themselves far more drama than necessary down the stretch.

Resuming their previous dominance on the glass and rediscovering a rhythm on offense that was glaringly absent two days earlier at Cal, CU picked up its first league win of the season by edging Stanford 56-55 at Maples Pavilion. The Buffs didn't do it without weathering more than a few nerve-racking moments, as Stanford rallied from 16 points down early in the second half to make it a nail-biter down the stretch in a game CU ultimately led throughout.


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"It was all about defense, which is something we didn't do against Cal," senior forward Josh Scott said. "That has to be a staple of our program. I think (Cal) was kind of a wake-up call, when you're shooting jump shots and there's going to be nights when the ball isn't going in...those nights especially you have to be ready to come out and defend and rebound. Really we talked about being better in those areas, and you can credit that to the win tonight."

The Buffs built a 37-27 going into halftime and extended their lead to 16 points early in the second half before the host Cardinal stormed back, reeling off a 12-4 run that brought Stanford within eight points with about 10 minutes remaining.

Stanford battled to within seven points on a 3-pointer by Marcus Sheffield with about 7:30 remaining, a shot that spurred another 7-0 run by the Cardinal. Stanford eventually whittled CU's lead to just one point in the final minute and a half, with a pair of free throws from Sheffield with 37.3 seconds remaining again pulling the hosts within a point and setting up a wild finish.

After a wayward desperation 3-pointer at the shot-clock buzzer by Scott, CU was fortunate on a long rebound that a Stanford player touched with his foot on the sideline, giving Buffs the possession with six seconds left. CU committed a turnover on the inbounds play, but Stanford's desperation heave from inside half-court at the buzzer went awry.

"It wasn't pretty in the second half," head coach Tad Boyle said. "Early in the season, learning how to win on the road in the league...it was a tale of two halves. We were great offensively in the first half. We were atrocious on offense in the second half."

Scott recorded his seventh double-double of the season and 30th of his career, finishing with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists. Wes Gordon finished with nine rebounds as the Buffs outrebounded Stanford 43-29.

XJ update

Despite earlier indications the status of injured forward Xavier Johnson would be clarified this week, the senior will remain in limbo until CU returns to Boulder. Boyle said he did not have time to meet with Johnson over the weekend regarding his pending decision on whether he will attempt a comeback from a torn Achilles tendon or take a medical redshirt.

Miller out

After hitting his head on the floor during Friday's loss at Cal, sophomore forward Tory Miller was sidelined against Stanford. He will be reevaluated this week ahead of CU's Pac-12 home opener Friday against Utah.

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07

CU 56, Stanford 55

FG FT Reb CU Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Gordon 33 3-7 0-0 5-9 1 2 6 Fletcher 29 3-7 2-2 1-4 2 2 9 Collier 14 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 4 3 Scott 38 6-11 2-2 1-14 3 2 14 Fortune 24 3-6 1-2 0-4 2 2 10 Akyazili 22 0-3 0-0 0-3 5 2 0 Talton 15 1-3 0-1 0-0 1 3 2 King 25 4-11 3-6 1-3 0 3 12 Totals 200 21-51 8-13 11-43 14 20 56

Percentages: FG .412, FT .615.3-Point Goals: 6-23, .261 (Fortune 3-5, Collier 1-3, Fletcher 1-4, King 1-6, Scott 0-1, Akyazili 0-2, Talton 0-2).Team Rebounds: 6.Blocked Shots: 4 (Gordon 2, Fletcher, Scott).Turnovers: 18 (Fortune 6, Scott 3, Fletcher 3, Collier 2, Gordon 2, King).Steals: 3 (Scott 2, King).Technical Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb STANFORD Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Sanders 17 1-1 4-4 0-0 1 1 6 Humphrey 34 8-15 2-2 1-8 0 4 19 Pickens 32 1-10 1-2 2-6 0 2 3 Mar Allen 35 2-8 3-6 1-2 1 2 7 R Allen 32 2-10 2-4 0-1 2 3 7 Mal Allen 8 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 2 Sheffield 23 2-7 4-4 1-5 3 0 9 Walker 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Verhoeven 16 0-1 2-2 2-5 0 1 2 Totals 200 17-54 18-24 8-29 7 15 55 Percentages: FG .315, FT .750.3-Point Goals: 3-15, .200 (Sheffield 1-2, Humphrey 1-3, R. Allen 1-6, Mar. Allen 0-1, Pickens 0-3).Team Rebounds: 1.Blocked Shots: 2 (Humphrey, Verhoeven).Turnovers: 6 (Sanders 2, Sheffield 2, Pickens, Mal. Allen).Steals: 9 (Mar. Allen 2, R. Allen 2, Humphrey 2, Mal. Allen, Sanders, Verhoeven).Technical Fouls: None. Colorado 37 19 — 56 Stanford 27 28 — 55

A — 3,887.Officials —Michael Greenstein, Keith Kimble, Shawn Lehigh.