Defense is supposed to trump offense, especially in relation to winning championships, but the defensive minded Colorado women's basketball team was no match Sunday for the offensive power of Stanford.

The fourth-ranked Cardinal poured in 55 points in the first half and went on to hand the 17th-ranked Buffs their second consecutive defeat 87-77 and their fourth loss in the past six games.

Considering CU came into the game allowing opponents to score 59 points a game, the first half could not have been more of a nightmare for CU coach Linda Lappe.

Stanford made 51.4 percent of its field goals in the first half with the nation's third leading scorer Chiney Ogwumike leading the way with 20 points before intermission. Ogwumike finished the game with 34 points and 16 rebounds, the sixth time in the past seven games she has scored at least 30 points.

Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike drives the lane against CU’s Arielle Roberson during the first half of Sunday’s game in Boulder.
Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike drives the lane against CU's Arielle Roberson during the first half of Sunday's game in Boulder. ( Cliff Grassmick )

It was the most points scored by one player against the Buffs since Lindsey Wilson scored 41 for Iowa State in 2003.

"We have a great player in Chiney, and she really battled in there tonight," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.

Colorado was playing without junior guard Jasmine Sborov who is out indefinitely with a fractured foot. And senior guard Brittany Wilson did not start because of a sprained knee.

Perhaps the biggest problem for CU turned out to be guarding the 3-point line. Stanford made 10-of-21 3-point attempts.

"The difference in the game was threes," Lappe said. "Giving up 10 threes was significant and in the first half many of those came in transition. We just weren't getting back fast enough. We were hanging a little bit too long on the rebound."


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Karlie Samuelson came off the bench to knock down five of eight 3-point attempts in the first half. She scored 17 of her 19 points in the half and got under the skin of CU forward Arielle Roberson. The two players were issued technical fouls at one point.

Stanford's lead blossomed to 19 points early in the second half, but the persistent Buffs were able to trim it to seven in the final 2 minutes. Stanford's shooting percentage also dropped in the second half to 37 percent after the Buffs turned up the defensive focus and became more physical.

"I think our defensive intensity increased a lot," sophomore forward Jamee Swan said. "We knew that we needed stops, we needed to play and we had a shot at winning it. I feel like that was the change."

Swan was a bright spot for the Buffs. She produced her second career double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, both career highs. Arielle Roberson scored 19 with six rebounds and five assists.

Colorado will probably lament the first half and its late collapse Friday against Cal when the new top 25 polls are released on Monday. The Buffs are in danger of falling out after the recent stretch of losing.

"After this weekend I think we are more confident that we were before," Roberson said. "We played really good basketball. I mean, with the exception of the last 6 minutes against Cal and then a few minutes here with Stanford. I think we have more positives to take away from this than negatives.

Lappe said she doesn't like the way the Pac-12 scheduling formula works where each team in the league plays every team once but does not get a return game against two teams. CU misses out on playing Stanford and Cal a second time this season. Lappe said playing Cal and Stanford twice would make her team better.

She managed to leave the Coors Events Center Sunday night feeling positive about her Buffs, even in the wake of two losses.

"I felt like we gave it our best shot, put our best foot forward," Lappe said. "We didn't back down and you have to like from our team."

No. 4 Stanford 87,

No. 17 Colorado 77

STANFORD

FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Ruef 30 1-8 3-5 3-10 2 4 5

Ogwumike 37 12-22 9-9 6-16 3 4 34

Thompson 24 2-6 4-4 0-3 6 2 9

James 11 3-5 0-0 1-2 0 1 7

Orrange 25 2-7 0-0 0-3 3 5 5

Green 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Greenfield 23 1-2 1-2 0-1 3 1 4

Roberson 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

McCall 9 1-3 0-0 1-2 1 2 2

Johnson 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

B Samuelson 7 1-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 2

K Samuelson 26 5-8 4-4 0-2 1 4 19

Totals 200 28-62 21-24 12-40 19 25 87

Percentages: FG .452, FT .875.

3-Point Goals: 10-21, .476 (K. Samuelson 5-8, Thompson 1-2, Ogwumike 1-2, Greenfield 1-2, James 1-3, Orrange 1-4).

Team Rebounds: 0.

Blocked Shots: 1 (McCall).

Turnovers: 18 (Ruef 5, Orrange 3, McCall 3, Ogwumike 2, Greenfield, Thompson, B. Samuelson, K. Samuelson, James).

Steals: 7 (Ruef 2, Ogwumike 2, K. Samuelson 2, Thompson).

Technical Fouls: Samuelson.

COLORADO

FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Roberson 35 6-10 5-10 2-6 5 3 19

Swan 33 9-17 2-3 5-13 5 3 20

Hargis 11 0-3 0-0 0-1 0 1 0

Kresl 19 2-7 6-6 0-2 3 3 10

Smith 17 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 5 2

B Wilson 23 4-11 6-6 3-5 2 5 15

A Wilson 21 0-1 0-0 0-2 2 3 0

Huggins 12 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 3

Reese 29 4-10 0-0 2-5 1 1 8

Totals 200 27-65 19-25 12-35 18 24 77

Percentages: FG .415, FT .760.

3-Point Goals: 4-13, .308 (Roberson 2-2, Huggins 1-1, B. Wilson 1-3, A. Wilson 0-1, Reese 0-1, Swan 0-2, Kresl 0-3).

Team Rebounds: 1.

Blocked Shots: 3 (Roberson 2, Kresl).

Turnovers: 15 (Swan 3, A. Wilson 2, Kresl 2, Roberson 2, Smith 2, Reese 2, B. Wilson, Hargis).

Steals: 10 (B. Wilson 2, Hargis 2, Reese 2, Roberson 2, Kresl, A. Wilson).

Technical Fouls: Roberson.

Stanford 55 32--87

Colorado 38 39--77

A -- 3,009.

Officials -- Michael Price, Shelley Russi, In'Fini Robinson.