It’s safe to say that if Colorado wants anything out of this season (i.e. postseason play), they will have to emerge victorious from all of their remaining winnable contests. The Buffs had a winnable road game in their grasp as they faced off against the struggling Stanford Cardinal (11-10 overall, 3-6 Pac-12) and they didn’t disappoint. Thanks to Derrick White and unselfish basketball, the Buffs came away with the crucial road win as they beat Stanford 81-74.
The first half was one we’ve seen many times before. Colorado played solid defense and shot the rock fairly well, but turnovers hampered the development of whatever offense the Buffs could conjure. Despite their 12 early turnovers, Colorado was able to get to halftime ahead 41-31. Part of the credit goes to the 60% shooting performance and the 10 assists on 15 made shots, part to Stanford for having 9 turnovers of their own, and most to White for leading the offense and defense without mistake.
As Colorado struggled with turnovers and shooting, Stanford momentarily got their game together and made a run at the Buffs’ lead. Before too long, Bryce Peters and White hit back-to-back threes to get the lead back to double digits and squash whatever realistic hope the Cardinal had. From there, Colorado was able to withstand a few mini-runs, but ultimately came away with the comfortable road win.
It’s safe to say White was the star of the game — he finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 blocks and 2 steals — but he wasn’t alone in the spotlight. Peters had 13 points (3-4 from three, 4-4 from the line) and carried the Buffs’ offense at times late in the game. Xavier Johnson was also fantastic. He had 19 points and contributed mightily on the boards and on defense. Let’s also give Tad Boyle some love for calling a timeout when the game was starting to fall apart and getting the team refocused.
Next up for the Buffs is a road game against the Cal Golden Bears. That game is on Sunday at 2:30 and will air on ESPNU.