What went right: CU got off to a great start, and then weathered a 22-3 Stanford run to finish the half on a strong note, going into intermission trailing by just eight.
What went wrong: CU never could get anything going outside of Jamee Swan and played an abysmal second half.
Star of the game: Jamee Swan. The Buffs' lone senior was their only real weapon on Friday, as she finished with 25 points on 9-of-10 shooting.
What's next: The Buffs host California on Sunday at noon.
Almost nobody thought the last-place Colorado women's basketball team could upset No. 15 Stanford on Friday night.
In fact, not even the Buffaloes believed it.
The lack of confidence was evident throughout a dismal second half that led to the Buffs falling to the visiting Cardinal 80-49 at Coors Events Center.
"I think we came out of halftime not ready to attack them," freshman point guard Kennedy Leonard said. "Most times, even when we played at Stanford (on Jan. 10), we came out ready to attack and thought we could actually win the game. Tonight, we didn't even think that we could win; from everybody across the board. Nobody had that attack mentality to win this game."
Well, almost nobody. Senior Jamee Swan was exceptional for the Buffs (6-20, 1-14 Pac-12), scoring 25 points and recording four steals, but it wasn't nearly enough to prevent the first 20-loss season by a CU team in 10 years. It's just the third 20-loss season in program history.
Playing in her final weekend at home, Swan went 9-for-10 from the floor and 7-for-10 from the free-throw line. The rest of the Buffs combined for 24 points on 10-for-47 shooting from the floor and 2-for-4 from the line. Leonard had 13 points.
Swan said that after the National Anthem, "It hit me that this is my last chance to play in Coors Events Center. It was something for me that I wanted to prove that even though I have not had the season I wished for, I could turn it around and make a difference. I knew that they needed that from me."
Swan's efforts kept the Buffs in the game during the first half, as she scored 16 points before the break and helped CU cut its deficit to eight, 37-29.
The lack of help, particularly on offense, buried the Buffs, though.
"It's always tough to watch your team struggle, and it's not just them that struggles," Swan said. "It's all of us. It's a team sport. If I'm having a good night or a bad night, we all struggle together. It just was hard."
It's been hard all season, as the Buffs have now lost five in a row and 15 of 16. Despite the struggles, Lappe said this was an unusual game for her team, which was outscored 43-20 after intermission.
"I don't know why you play the game if you didn't believe that you could win," Lappe said. "This was the first game where I didn't think we played really hard and we let one thing affect the next. We've got to continue to fight. That's our only choice. These losses don't feel very good, because nobody gave our best. I didn't give my best. If we did, I don't think that outcome would happen like that."
Heading into Sunday's home finale against California, the Buffs will try to pick themselves off the deck and find a way to give their best.
"On Sunday we need to come out with effort," Leonard said. "It's Swan's last home game, so I think a lot of us are going to play for her and play to get a final win here at Coors."
With 25 points, Swan now has 1,200 for her career, tying former teammate Jen Reese for 19th on the program's all-time scoring list. She passed another former teammate, Brittany Wilson (1,194) to get into the top 20. ... The program record for losses in a season is 22, set by the 1984-85 squad that went 6-22.
Thompson 5-13 3-3 15, Kay. Johnson 4-6 4-4 12, Roberson 2-3 0-0 5, McCall 4-10 5-6 13, Samuelson 3-8 1-1 9, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Coffee 1-1 0-0 2, Smith 3-7 1-1 8, McPhee 6-7 3-4 16, Sniezek 0-1 0-0 0, Romano 0-0 0-0 0, Lakhian 0-0 0-0 0, Kai. Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Picknell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-57 17-19 80.COLORADO (6-20)
Ellis 0-3 0-0 0, Robinson 0-9 2-2 2, Leonard 6-14 0-0 13, Smith 0-5 0-0 0, Swan 9-10 7-10 25, Watts 2-3 0-2 4, Thomas 2-6 0-0 5, Correal 0-0 0-0 0, Huggins 0-6 0-0 0, Beard-Fails 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-57 9-14 49.Stanford15222023—80Colorado1316812—49
3-Point Goals_Stanford 7-14 (Thompson 2-5, Samuelson 2-5, McPhee 1-1, Roberson 1-1, Smith 1-2), Colorado 2-15 (Thomas 1-4, Leonard 1-6, Smith 0-1, Robinson 0-2, Huggins 0-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Stanford 40 (Kay. Johnson, McCall, McPhee 7), Colorado 31 (Correal, Smith, Watts 5). Assists_Stanford 17 (Sniezek, Thompson 4), Colorado 8 (Leonard, Smith 2). Total Fouls_Stanford 16, Colorado 22. A_NA.