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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

CU Buffs start well but fall to 2nd at Stanford in first losing season

BOULDER. Morale was ready and defense was stellar, but it wasn’t enough to propel the Colorado women’s basketball team over No. 2 at Stanford on Friday night.

The Cardinals, the reigning national champions, kept their composure, found their offense in the second half and took the lead with a 60-52 win at the CU Events Center. Stanford beat CU 36-24 in the second half.

“I’m really proud of our baseball club,” said CU coach J.R. Payne. “Two very good basketball teams played tonight. These were two teams that had to compete at the highest level of the game, just like us tonight.”

The Buffs, who were only shooting 30% off the field, lost for the first time this season and are now 13-1.

“I told the team I didn’t expect us to go 35-0 this year,” Payne said. “Maybe now we will go 34-1. I’m kidding. But to be honest, we were going to lose at some point, and Stanford is one of the best teams in the country.”

CU freaked out late in the game when junior quarterback Jaylene Sherrod was injured, but Payne said she expects Sherrod to be available for the Buffs’ next game on Monday at Oregon. Sherrod, a Buff activist and team leader, appeared to have injured her right leg and had to be helped off the court.

The Buffs were led by Quay Miller, who scored 16 points but was eliminated. Stanford improved to 12-3 with a balanced record across the roster.

“It was a tough game, but I agree with what the coach told us,” Miller said. “I was very proud of the way we played today. And there are a lot of things we can learn from that.”

The Cardinal lost just twice en route to his national title last season, and one of those losses was a 77-72 overtime loss to Colorado in Boulder last January. It was the first time the Buffalo had beaten the first-place team.

Initially, it looked like CU was about to commit another upset and earn a landmark victory for their recovery program. Stanford, however, turned out to be too deep and too talented.

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CU’s defense was especially frantic and frustrating in the first quarter. Putting constant pressure on the flustered Cardinal defensemen, the Buffs forced 13 turnovers – 10 of them by interceptions – to take a 15-8 lead. Sherrod had four such thefts.

If the Buffs had hit a couple of 3-pointers in the first quarter, they could have buried Stanford early. Instead, the Buffs scored 0 out of 6, missing out on a few wide-eyed looks.

“I don’t know of anyone making Stanford out of reach,” Payne said. “But of course it would be easier for us if we just hit one or two (three-pointers). (Shooting) 27 triples is too many for our team. And some of our players who used to hit triples with high percentages just didn’t hit today.”

In the second quarter, with CU’s Frida Foreman finally hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the shot clock expired, CU’s lead was 28–19 with 2:09 left. But Cardinal scored the last five points of the half, cutting CU’s lead to 28-24 and catching momentum heading into the locker room.

Stanford junior quarterback Hayley Jones lifted her team in the third quarter, scoring eight of her team’s 11 quarter points. A beautiful exchange from Sherrod to Peanut Tuitela, who took a penalty to end the game by 3, gave the Buffs a 41-36 lead at the end of the third. It seemed that Colorado could hold the cardinal in check.

It shouldn’t have been.

Stanford began using open throws and scored the next 10 points, taking a 46–41 lead with 8 minutes left in the game.

Colorado, which ran out of gas, never rallied.

Stanford’s Ashten Prechtel of Colorado Spring’s Discovery Canyon High School did a great job shutting out CU forward Mia Hollingshed. Hollingshed, CU’s top scorer, averaging 14.6 points per game, only scored seven points on 2 of 12 shots.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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