The Buffs showed their toughness down the stretch executing when they needed to and it led them to a 59-56 victory over Stanford at Maples Pavilion Wednesday night. Colorado didn't make it easy on themselves going scoreless for six minutes in the later part of the second half, but after Stanford took a 51-48 lead with 3:59 remaining, Colorado responded with a 7-0 run to lead 55-51. After that, the Buffs never looked back. This win almost assuredly puts the Buffs in the field of 68. They got a coveted 10th win in the Pac-12 to put them at 10-7 in the conference and are now 21-9 overall.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
The Buffs didn't give up late in the second half and got just enough to win on the road. Josh Scott was key as he led the team with 17 points. He only went 4-of-6 from the field, but made a living at the charity stripe going 9-of-11. He also had 11 rebounds.
Despite going 5-of-16 from the floor and missing all five of his threes, Xavier Johnson attacked the basket and wanted the basketball when no one else did. He didn't always take the best shots, but he stepped up to help the Buffs get the win. Xavier Talton made multiple key shots to propel Colorado to victory. He hit a three with just over two minutes to go and ended with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting.
Colorado's defense was nowhere to be found in the past two games, but the Buffs made a point to work all game on the defensive end Wednesday night. The Buffs limited Stanford to 36 percent shooting and 4-of-17 from three. The Buffs won the rebounding margin 39-31.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
The offense at times couldn't get anything going. It was either a forced drive to the lane or a contested three. The Buffs were 4-of-17 from beyond the arc and had a hard time staying patient on offense when the shots weren't falling. No one wanted the ball or wanted to create as Colorado only had seven assists and doubled that number with their turnovers as they had 14.
Askia Booker made a huge layup when Colorado couldn't find the bucket, but other than that, he didn't play well. He turned it over five times, with three of those coming on traveling violations. He only added 7 points on 3-of-10 shooting.
Colorado will take on Cal on Saturday. It would be nice for the Buffs to get another road win, but Cal is a very difficult team to beat at home and a loss is expected. Colorado essentially locked up their NCAA Tournament berth with the win over Stanford, so the game's stakes are not as high.