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'Winning Plays' Push Colorado Over Cardinal, 64-58

Buffs snap three-game losing streak

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado topped Stanford 64-58 in a low-scoring affair, snapping a three-game losing streak, and bringing the Buffs back to .500 (12-12) on the season.

"That was a relief," said Colorado head coach Tad Boyle. "We needed that win bad. I thought it was a terrific team victory. I thought our bench played well, we had a lot of guys contribute. It's nice when your team has been struggling to see them rewarded for their hard work."

Askia Booker came out of the gates hot, hitting his first three shots, including a three. Booker put the Buffs up 12-4 with a jumper at the 13:15 mark.

Colorado's Achilles heel reared its ugly head in the middle of the first half, in the form of a scoring drought of over five minutes. Stanford struggled to take advantage, shooting just 1-of-7 during the Colorado slump. By the time Xavier Johnson cracked the lid on the basket, Colorado still held a 14-7 lead.

Stanford's Stefan Nastic was able to get loose in the first half, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 from the field. Colorado was able to hold Pac-12 leading scorer Chasson Randle to just six points in the first half on 2-of-7 shooting.

Colorado nearly ended the half on a 5-0 mini-run after a layup from Johnson, and a three-pointer from Tre'shaun Fletcher, but Nastic brought the Card to within 29-23 with a last second banker.

The Cardinal closed the gap to two with an 8-0 run, with six points coming from Nastic. Randle tied the contest at the 13:07 mark with a three.

Stanford took their first lead three minutes later with a Nastic jumper. Wesley Gordon reclaimed the lead with a pair of free throws at the 8:27 mark. After a Josh Scott layup, Randle and Xavier Talton exchanged threes to keep the Colorado advantage at three.

Colorado would never relinquish the lead after Talton's three, but the Card remained within striking distance.

"These games are won by teams and players who make plays," Boyle said. "You've got to make winning plays."

One of those winning plays came with a little under three minutes to go. With the Buffs hanging on to a four point lead, Johnson missed a three. Talton crashed the glass, grabbed the offensive rebound, and dished to Booker, who knocked down a corner three.

Another winning play came from Johnson, who turned the ball over on an inbounds pass with Colorado up 61-58 with 21 seconds left. Johnson immediately got set, and drew a charge on Randle, effectively putting the game to bed.

Booker finished with 17 points. Johnson finished with his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 boards.

CU heads to the Pacific Northwest later this week to take on Oregon and Oregon State.