What went right: CU shot an impressive .531 from the field and outrebounded Stanford 38-29.
What went wrong: Too many turnovers. The Buffs committed a season-high 23, leading to 23 points for Stanford.
Star of the game: Derrick White paced the Buffs with 19 points, hitting 6-of-8 shots from the floor while also adding eight rebounds, eight assists, and four blocked shots.
What's next: The Buffs complete their two-game road trip on Super Bowl Sunday at Cal (2:30 p.m. MST, ESPNU).
STANFORD, Calif. — Check those road struggles off the list for a Colorado men's basketball team that suddenly has found a spark.
Combining a hot-shooting effort and a balanced scoring punch with a dominant effort on the glass, the Buffaloes were able to overcome a rash of turnovers to hold off Stanford for an 81-74 win Thursday night in a Pac-12 Conference battle at Maples Pavilion.
The victory was the third in a row for CU after an 0-7 start in league play, and it snapped a 10-game losing streak in Pac-12 road games dating back to last season.
“It's good for these guys' confidence. We know we can win,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “I thought our bench played great. It was a good team victory. And we had some guys that didn't play as well as they're capable of playing. We had some guys with some off nights. But that's what a good team is all about. A lot of guys played good basketball for us tonight.”
CU held a 10-point lead at halftime but Stanford steadily chipped away, eventually trimming the Buffs' lead to four points with under 12 minutes remaining. However CU delivered in crunch time, reeling off a 13-2 run to extend the lead to 15 points. Freshman guard Bryce Peters highlighted that run, knocking down two 3-pointers and scoring eight points while also forcing a Stanford traveling violation on the defensive end.
CU's lead remained 15 when the Cardinal made a charge, scoring six consecutive points to pull within nine with a little more than four minutes remaining. But the Buffs, who finished 20-for-28 at the free throw line after struggling in that department the previous two games, managed to hold off Stanford down the stretch.
The Buffs turned in one of their better all-around halves of the season in the opening period, despite recording 12 turnovers that turned into 11 points for the Cardinal.
CU shot an impressive .577 from the floor (15-for-26) in the opening frame while outrebounding Stanford 17-9. After the teams essentially traded baskets for the first 10 minutes, the Buffs took control with a 10-0 run bookended by 3-pointers from Derrick White and Dom Collier. The Buffs added a late 8-3 spurt to take a 41-31 lead into the break.
“Stanford is a good team. They didn't go away and they fought to the end,” White said. “We turned the ball over too much and that's probably why the game was so close. But it was a good win for us, and the first win on the road in the Pac-12, so we're trying to build off that.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Buffs, an effort paced by another stellar all-around game from White. The senior guard paced the Buffs with 19 points, hitting 6-of-8 shots from the floor, while also adding eight rebounds, eight assists, and four blocked shots.
Xavier Johnson also enjoyed a solid all-around game for CU, also scoring 19 points to go with six rebounds, and three assists. Peters finished 3-for-4 from 3-point range with 13 points. Backup forward Tory Miller had another impressive showing off the bench, shooting 4-for-5 while finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Buffs outrebounded the Cardinal 38-29, which helped them overcome a season-most 23 turnovers that led to 23 Stanford points.
"We were efficient offensively, and that was a big part of it,” Boyle said. “We could have put this thing away if we took care of the ball. We played a good game, but we turned the ball over 23 times on the road. It's hard to put anybody away when you do that. But our offense is coming along. We hit some timely threes and our offense was pretty efficient.”
COLORADO (13-10, 3-7)
Gordon 1-1 0-0 2, Collier 2-5 2-2 8, King 0-3 0-2 0, White 6-8 5-6 19, Johnson 6-11 6-9 19, Miller 4-5 2-3 10, Siewert 1-3 1-2 3, Fortune 2-5 0-0 5, Akyazili 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 1-4 0-0 2, Peters 3-4 4-4 13. Totals 26-49 20-28 81.STANFORD (11-11, 3-7)
Humphrey 6-9 1-2 13, Travis 4-11 1-2 9, Cartwright 3-8 2-4 8, Mar.Allen 3-10 2-3 8, Pickens 5-9 0-0 13, Walker 1-2 0-0 2, Verhoeven 0-0 0-0 0, Sharma 1-1 0-2 2, Mal.Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Sanders 0-0 0-2 0, Sheffield 4-10 8-9 19. Totals 27-60 14-24 74.
Halftime — Colorado 41-31. 3-Point Goals — Colorado 9-22 (Peters 3-4, White 2-2, Collier 2-4, Fortune 1-3, Johnson 1-4, Siewert 0-1, King 0-2, Brown 0-2), Stanford 6-19 (Sheffield 3-6, Pickens 3-6, Mar.Allen 0-2, Humphrey 0-2, Cartwright 0-3). Fouled Out — None. Rebounds — Colorado 34 (Miller, White 7), Stanford 27 (Humphrey 8). Assists — Colorado 19 (White 8), Stanford 13 (Sanders 4). Total Fouls — Colorado 22, Stanford 26.