What went right: The Buffs moved the ball with efficient precision, finishing with a season-most 25 assists. CU matched a season-best with a .565 field goal percentage committed a season-low six turnovers.
What went wrong: Stanford recorded 13 offensive rebounds and enjoyed a 10-8 edge on second-chance points.
Star of the game: Xavier Johnson. The senior forward went 7-for-13 from the floor with 15 points and nine rebounds.
What's next: The Buffs host Cal in their final home game of the regular season on Saturday (noon, Pac-12 Network).
This week, Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle put his team through a scrimmage in which none of the baskets counted unless they occurred via an assist.
The idea was to make sure the ball keeps moving offensively, because when it does Boyle maintains his team can be a fun one to watch. That theory proved accurate Thursday night, as the Buffaloes shared the ball beautifully while pulling away for a 91-72 victory in a Pac-12 Conference battle against Stanford.
CU recorded a season-high 25 assists on 35 field goals, tallying assists on each of the first seven baskets of the second half in a dominant surge that blew the game open for the Buffs. CU finished with 16 assists on 19 field goals in the second half.
"That drill forces you to look for your teammates, because if you don't you don't score your points," CU senior guard Derrick White said. "It was a good drill for us and something we need to continue on."
Heading into Saturday's regular-season finale against Cal, CU still can land anywhere between the seventh and the ninth seed for the league tournament next week. A win on Saturday against Cal combined with an Arizona State loss against No. 7 Arizona would give the Buffs the No. 7 seed in the Pac-12 tournament.
It was CU's eighth consecutive win against Stanford.
The Buffs matched a season-high with a .565 field goal percentage while recording a season-low six turnovers. CU went 11-for-23 on 3-pointers, with freshman Lucas Siewert leading the long-range assault by going 4-for-5.
"I'm really proud of the way we played tonight and hopefully we can take what we did tonight and do it our next game," CU junior George King said.
CU led 41-35 at halftime but opened the second half on a 16-5 run and never looked back.
It was a balanced effort for the Buffs, which saw six players score at least 10 points. Xavier Johnson, Siewert, and King led the way with 15 points apiece, which counted as a season-high for Siewert. Deleon Brown, Wesley Gordon, and Tory Miller all added 10 points each.
White, CU's leading scorer, scored only nine points for just his fourth single-digit scoring performance of the season, but he led the parade of assists with a team-leading eight against no turnovers in 32 minutes. Gordon and sophomore guard Dom Collier each posted five assists.
"I think that was as good of two halves that we've put together back-to-back offensively certainly all year," said Boyle, who notched his 100th win at the Coors Events Center. "We had 25 assists and six turnovers. You're going to hopefully win a lot of games. We really shared the ball tonight. The togetherness on offense was big-time.
"I think this team showed that when we play together and share it offensively, and play with energy and passion defensively, this team can be as good as they want to be and beat any team in our league. But we've also shown that when we don't, we're very average. Tonight was a good night for the Buffs."
COLORADO 91, STANFORD 72
STANFORD (14-15, 6-11)
Travis 6-11 2-4 14, Humphrey 5-6 3-6 13, Mar.Allen 6-16 2-2 15, Sanders 3-5 1-3 9, Pickens 0-5 1-2 1, Stanback 1-1 0-0 2, Walker 0-0 2-2 2, Sharma 0-1 0-0 0, Verhoeven 1-2 0-0 3, Mal.Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Cartwright 1-6 0-0 3, Sheffield 4-6 0-0 10. Totals 27-60 11-19 72.
COLORADO (17-13, 7-10)
Gordon 4-4 2-2 10, King 6-10 0-1 15, White 4-7 0-1 9, Collier 0-3 0-0 0, Johnson 7-13 0-1 15, Miller 4-5 2-4 10, Siewert 4-6 3-4 15, Fortune 2-7 2-2 6, Akyazili 0-1 1-2 1, Repine 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 4-5 0-0 10, Lombard 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-62 10-17 91.
Halftime — Colorado 41-35. 3-point goals — Stanford 7-23 (Sanders 2-2, Sheffield 2-4, Verhoeven 1-2, Cartwright 1-4, Mar.Allen 1-6, Sharma 0-1, Mal.Allen 0-1, Pickens 0-3), Colorado 11-23 (Siewert 4-5, King 3-5, Brown 2-3, Johnson 1-2, White 1-2, Collier 0-2, Fortune 0-4). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Stanford 32 (Travis 8), Colorado 33 (Johnson 9). Assists — Stanford 14 (Cartwright 7), Colorado 24 (White 8). Total fouls — Stanford 20, Colorado 17. A — 8,008 (11,064).