• University of Colorado Boulder's Jaylyn Sherrod gets past Stanford's Lexie Hill during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Peanut Tuitele reaches for a rebound with Stanford's Anna Wilson and Ashten Prechtel, during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Peanut Tuitele, left, and Kindyll Wetta, and Tameiya Sadler, get fired up during the Pac-12 game against Stanford in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Kindyll Wetta, right, get the rebound from Stanford's Haley Jones during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Jaylyn Sherrod drives past Stanford's Lexie Hull during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Mya Hollingshed goes over Stanford's Lexie Hull for a rebound during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Kindyll Wetta drives on Stanford's Haley Jones during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Mya Hollingshed looks at the scoreboard late in the Stanford Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Peanut Tuitele crashes the boards past Stanford's Ashten Prechtel during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's assistant coach, Toriano Towns, left, and head coach, JR Payne, during the Stanford the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Lesila Finau gets a shot over Stanford's Hannah Jump during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • University of Colorado Boulder's Lesila Finau, left and Stanford's Hannah Jump, collide in front of CU coach, JR Payne, during the Pac-12 game in Boulder on January 14, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

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As confident as Colorado women’s basketball coach JR Payne is in her team, she didn’t expect the Buffaloes to run the table this season.

That didn’t ease the sting on Friday, though.

Despite an exceptional effort on defense, the 22nd-ranked Buffaloes couldn’t withstand a  late surge by No. 2 Stanford, falling 60-52 on Friday night at the CU Events Center.

CU (13-1, 2-1 Pac-12) was the last remaining undefeated team in Division I – men or women – before Stanford’s late push.

“I didn’t really expect us to go 35-0 this year,” Payne said. “Maybe now we’ll go 34-1. No, I’m kidding, but honestly, at some point we were going to lose a game and Stanford is one of the best teams in America. I believe that we also are everything a good college basketball team should be. We’re tough, we’re fearless, we compete on every single possession.”

In this one, however, Stanford (12-3, 3-0) had more good possessions down the stretch, outscoring the Buffs 19-11 in the fourth quarter after leading just once in the first 30 minutes.

Nearly one year after CU’s remarkable 77-72 overtime upset of then-No. 1 Stanford on Jan. 17, 2021, the Buffs put themselves in a position to pull off another upset.

A 3-pointer by Quay Miller with 3 minutes, 53 seconds to play in the third quarter gave CU a 38-34 lead and it gave Miller 16 points. Just 11 seconds later, though, Miller was hit with her fourth foul and went to the bench. Miller played just 81 seconds the rest of the night, as she fouled out early in the fourth quarter.

Stanford took advantage, outscoring the Buffs 20-7 over the next 10:42 to take its big lead of the night, 54-45, with a minute to play and put the game away.

“We have a really nice rotation with the three of them (Miller, Mya Hollingshed and Peanut Tuitele); there’s kind of a rhythm to the rotations, so that threw just sort of a monkey wrench in our natural rhythm in the way that we play,” Payne said. “Peanut and Mya filled the bulk of those minutes and they did a great job with their effort and all of that, but I think it was a little bit disjointed for us.”

Defensively, the Buffs were solid all night, especially early. They forced 13 turnovers in the first quarter – the most ever by a CU opponent in one quarter – and led by as many as 11 points in the opening frame. Overall, they held the Cardinal to just 38.5 percent shooting.

Offensively, however, the Buffs struggled, hitting just 29.8 percent of its shots (17-of-57), including 14.8 percent (4-of-27) from 3-point range.

“Twenty-seven 3s is way too many for our team,” Payne said. “But players that really shoot high-percentage 3s just didn’t hit tonight and that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”

CU battled to the end, though, once again playing a thriller with the Cardinal, as veterans such as Hollingshed, Tuitele and Sila Finau led the way.

“This game isn’t going to define us,” Tuitele said. “What Sila told me she said (to the team) is, ‘Win or lose, I’m proud of this team.’ We showed out today. It was a battle and I said in the beginning of the game we’re going to war. I’m incredibly proud of how we came out from top to bottom, from the first person all the way down to the 15th person. We came out as a team and we’re going to stay as a team.”

Now, the Buffs turn their attention to moving past this one, as they have a quick turnaround before a trip to Oregon State on Monday.

“You have to have a short memory in this conference because every team you play is very good and very tough,” Payne said. “We definitely will learn from our mistakes tonight. We also will learn from the good things we did.”

Notes

Friday’s attendance was 3,744, the most for a CU women’s game since a crowd of 3,781 against Oregon State on Jan. 28, 2018. … Point guard Jaylyn Sherrod took a hard fall late in the fourth quarter, but Payne hopes she’ll play Monday. “It was a very hard hit, I will say that,” Payne said. “She got hit hard and went down hard. It was a physical game and Jaylyn is also a physical player.”

Fast break

What went right: CU’s defense was exceptional most of the night, forcing 22 turnovers and creating 15 steals.

What went wrong: Offensively, it was a rough one for the Buffs, who made just 4-of-27 3-pointers and 17-of-57 shots overall.

Star of the game: Quay Miller. She had 16 points and three rebounds to lead the Buffs.

What’s next: The Buffs visit Oregon State on Monday at 3 p.m. MT.

No. 2 Stanford 60, No. 22 Colorado 52

STANFORD (12-3, 3-0 Pac-12)

Brink 4-10 2-2 10, Lexie Hull 0-8 7-8 7, Lacie Hull 1-2 1-2 3, Jones 4-8 3-4 11, Jump 2-5 0-0 6, Belibi 1-6 0-0 2, Prechtel 4-6 0-2 10, Wilson 2-5 1-2 6, Iriafen 1-1 0-0 2, Van Gytenbeek 1-1 0-0 3, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 20-52 14-20 60

COLORADO (13-1, 2-1 Pac-12)

Tuitele 3-6 3-3 10, Finau 1-5 0-0 2, Formann 2-6 2-3 7, Hollingshed 2-12 3-6 7, Sherrod 2-9 2-2 6, Miller 6-11 2-2 16, Blacksten 0-1 1-2 1, Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Sadler 0-0 0-0 0, Wetta 1-5 1-2 3, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 17-57 14-20 52

Stanford 8 16 17 19 — 60
Colorado 15 13 13 11 — 52

3-Point Goals — Stanford 6-16 (Brink 0-1, Lexie Hull 0-3, Jump 2-4, Prechtel 2-4, Wilson 1-3, Van Gytenbeek 1-1), Colorado 4-27 (Tuitele 1-3, Finau 0-2, Formann 1-4, Hollingshed 0-6, Sherrod 0-2, Miller 2-6, Blacksten 0-1, Jones 0-1, Wetta 0-2). Assists — Stanford 12 (Jones 5), Colorado 9 (Wetta 3). Fouled Out — Colorado Miller. Rebounds — Stanford 49 (Belibi 4-7), Colorado 27 (Tuitele 2-3). Total Fouls — Stanford 14, Colorado 25. Technical Fouls — None. A — 3,744.