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Jan. 14, 2022- University of Colorado ...
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)

There are not a lot of teams that can go into Maples Pavilion and come out with a victory against the Stanford women’s basketball team.

Colorado has never done it, but the Buffaloes are certainly looking forward to another opportunity.

On Sunday, the Buffs (16-6, 5-6 Pac-12) will bring a two-game winning streak into a showdown with the No. 2-ranked Cardinal (20-3, 11-0).

“We just want to play great basketball,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “You know me; I’m always in the moment. What can we do well, right now? How can we be effective today? How can we win this game today? I think it’s really important. We want to play great basketball.”

CU has finally started to play some great basketball again after a rough stretch.

The Buffs were 13-0 and the last undefeated team in the country before Stanford came to Boulder and beat them, 60-52, on Jan. 14. That was the start of a seven-game stretch where the Buffs went 1-6.

In their last two games, however, the Buffs have rolled past Washington by 23 points and California by 17. Although both teams are at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings, the wins were important for CU to get its groove back.

“I do think that we’ve made some good in-game adjustments (the last two games),” Payne said. “I think our team has really responded to what we’ve asked them to do at halftime the last two games and really bought in and said, ‘OK, we can do that.’ That’s a sign of a mature team. Don’t be frustrated by anything; just fix it, and we did a good job of that (against Cal).”

Although the back-to-back wins give the Buffs some momentum, senior guard Sila Finau said the Buffs didn’t need that for motivation against the Cardinal, a team the Buffs have been very competitive in recent years.

“I do get that road games are hard, but at the end of the day, I think we just have something against Stanford to where it’s just always a good game,” Finau said.

Each of the last five CU-Stanford matchups have been decided by eight points or less, with two of them going to overtime and another being won – by Stanford – on a buzzer-beater at the end of regulation. CU knocked off then-No. 1 Stanford in Boulder on Jan. 17, 2021.

Last month’s game was tied going into the fourth quarter.

“They have been really fun (matchups),” Payne said. “I think we’re just two good teams that play really hard and for whatever reason, they are always good games.

“We just need to continue to focus on playing great, doing our job, staying together and I think we give ourselves a good chance.”

CU Buffs women’s basketball at No. 2 Stanford Cardinal

TIPOFF: Sunday 1 p.m. MST, at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif.

BROADCAST: TV – Pac-12 Network. Radio – 630 AM

RECORDS: Colorado 16-6 (5-6 Pac-12); Stanford 20-3 (11-0 Pac-12)

COACHES: Colorado – JR Payne, 6th season (88-81; 189-914 career). Stanford – Tara VanDerveer, 36th season (993-207; 1,145-258).

KEY PLAYERS: Colorado – G Sila Finau, 5-9, Sr. (3.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg); G Frida Formann, 5-11, So. (8.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.6 apg); F Mya Hollingshed, 6-3, Sr. (14.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg; 1.2 spg, 1.0 bpg); C Quay Miller, 6-3, Jr. (11.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg); G Jaylyn Sherrod, 5-7, Jr. (7.5 ppg; 2.4 rpg; 3.7 apg, 1.9 spg); F Peanut Tuitele, 6-1, Sr. (7.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg); G Kindyll Wetta, 5-9, Fr. (3.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.4 spg). Stanford – F Francesca Belibi, 6-1, Jr. (9.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg); F Cameron Brink, 6-4, So. (14.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.4 bpg); G Lacie Hull, 6-1, Sr. (4.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.7 apg); G Lexie Hull, 6-1, Sr. (11.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.0 spg); G Haley Jones, 6-1, Jr. (12.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.8 apg); G Hannah Jump, 6-0, Jr. (11.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg).

NOTES: This is the second game for a four-game road swing for the Buffs, who are 5-3 on the road this season. The Buffs won at California, 73-56 on Friday, with Tuitele scoring 15 points. … Stanford routed Utah, 91-64, on Friday. Jones and Lexie Hull each had 15 points. … The Cardinal have won 26 consecutive games against Pac-12 opponents. … CU held Stanford to 60 points in Boulder last month. That is the lowest point total for the Cardinal in their 11 Pac-12 games. … Hollingshed ranks 12th in CU history with 1,559 career points. She needs 15 to tie for Tracy Tripp (1985-89) for 11th. … Stanford leads the all-time series 23-5, including 12-0 at Maples Pavilion. … The Cardinal are 10-1 at home, with the only loss coming against Texas, currently ranked No. 16, on Nov. 14. … Stanford is 48-1 in its last 49 games against unranked opponents, including a current 28-game win streak. The only loss in that stretch was 77-72 in overtime at Colorado on Jan. 17, 2021.