What went right: CU held Stanford to a .357 mark from the field and outrebounded the Cardinal 42-38, including a 16-12 edge on the offensive glass.
What went wrong: CU recorded only 12 turnovers against 14 for Stanford, but the Cardinal still posted an 11-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
Star of the game: Lucas Siewert. For the second consecutive season the sophomore forward enjoyed a career-best scoring effort against Stanford, going 5-for-7 for 17 points while matching a career-best with seven rebounds.
What's next: Following a three-game homestand the Buffs travel through the state of Washington, beginning with a Thursday night date at Washington State (9 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Network).
For much of the season, the lack of progress Lucas Siewert displayed on the floor as he made the key jump from his freshman season to his sophomore year counted as one of the early disappointments for the Colorado men's basketball team.
Yet the sophomore forward is changing that narrative in a hurry.
In a performance that lends greater credence to the idea Siewert may be coming into his own rather than enjoying a productive but fleeting hot streak, Siewert turned in a career-best effort off the bench for the Colorado Buffaloes on Sunday, leading CU to a 64-56 win against Stanford at the Coors Events Center.
The victory gave the Buffs a sweep of their three-game homestand and keeps the club squarely in the mix within a crowded middle ground in the Pac-12 Conference. Siewert led CU to its ninth consecutive win against Stanford by pouring in a career-best 17 points off the bench while matching a career-high with seven rebounds.
"Obviously he shot the ball well from three today," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "He really gives defenses problems because they have to choose in ball-screens if you're going to guard McKinley (Wright) or Dom (Collier) or one of those guys coming downhill, or are you going to guard (Siewert) on the pick-and-pop.
"But I'm more proud of Lucas' seven rebounds than I am his 17 points. Obviously I love him shooting the ball the way he is. He gives us a shot in the arm offensively. But when he defends and he rebounds like he did tonight, he really helps this team."
Siewert matched a career-high with four 3-pointers, a total he also reached last year against Stanford, while going 4-for-6 from long range and 5-for-7 overall. Siewert now has recorded three of his seven career double-digit scoring efforts over the past four games. He has shot 14-for-26 during that span (.538) while going 8-for-15 on 3-pointers.
"That's the player I'm trying to be," Siewert said. "These past games I've been doing really good and that's what I'm trying to become every game."
CU never trailed after the first three minutes of the game, using 19-5 run late in the first half — a burst that included Siewert's first two 3-pointers — to pave the way for a 31-20 lead at halftime.
Stanford chipped away at its deficit through the second half and twice drew within a point, with the final time occurring on a Daejon Davis layup that cut CU's lead to 50-49 with 5 minutes, 47 seconds to play.
The Buffs, however, answered with a 12-3 run that began with two baskets from freshman Tyler Bey and a pair of free throws from Siewert. After a 3-point play by Stanford's Trevor Stanback, consecutive 3-pointers from Siewert off assists from McKinley Wright gave the Buffs a 10-point lead with 72 seconds remaining.
CU limited Stanford to a .357 mark from the field and held all three of its opponents under 37 percent during the 3-0 homestand. Stanford's Reid Travis entered the game ranked in the Pac-12's top five in both scoring and rebounding with averages of 19.4 points and 7.8 rebounds, but he managed just 10 points and six rebounds against the Buffs.
"I thought that was a great, hard-fought victory against a really good team," Boyle said. "I've got a lot of respect for Stanford and their players, their coaches. For the most part, our defense on Reid Travis was stellar. A lot of credit goes to our post guys...but a lot of credit also goes to our perimeter guys that were pressuring the ball and being help-side when we were fronting them. Great team victory. Great team effort."
While CU's Namon Wright returned to the rotation after missing two games due to illness, the Buffs will be without sophomore guard Deleon Brown indefinitely after he broke his left (shooting) hand in practice Saturday.
COLORADO 64, STANFORD 56
STANFORD (13-13, 7-6)
Okpala 1-2 0-0 3, Humphrey 1-5 0-0 3, Travis 4-10 2-4 10, Davis 5-16 2-6 12, Pickens 5-15 4-4 18, da Silva 1-3 0-0 2, Stanback 2-2 1-1 5, Pugh 0-0 0-0 0, Walker 0-0 0-0 0, White 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 20-56 9-15 56.
COLORADO (15-10, 7-6)
Walton 2-5 1-1 6, King 5-12 0-0 11, M.Wright 4-15 1-3 10, Nikolic 2-5 1-1 6, Bey 4-7 1-3 9, Siewert 5-7 3-4 17, N.Wright 0-4 2-2 2, Collier 1-6 0-0 3, Schwartz 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-62 9-14 64.
Halftime — Colorado 31-20. 3-point goals — Stanford 7-21 (Pickens 4-9, Okpala 1-1, White 1-1, Humphrey 1-2, da Silva 0-2, Travis 0-2, Davis 0-4), Colorado 9-19 (Siewert 4-6, Walton 1-1, King 1-2, M.Wright 1-2, Collier 1-3, Nikolic 1-3, N.Wright 0-2). Fouled out — Bey. Rebounds — Stanford 33 (Humphrey 7), Colorado 37 (King 9). Assists — Stanford 5 (Davis 2), Colorado 14 (M.Wright 7). Total fouls — Stanford 17, Colorado 12.