Buffs collapse in fourth quarter, fall to No. 8 Stanford

The women’s squad traveled to the Bay Area to start a two game road trip. Friday night in Palo Alto, despite leading at halftime, the Buffs fell to the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal, 64-51.

Colorado came into the game after a hard-fought battle with the No. 10 Washington Huskies Sunday afternoon that resulted in a four-point loss, whilst Stanford came off a nine-point loss to No. 15 UCLA on Monday. 

Even though Stanford was heavily favored to come away with the win, the Buffs proved they were no pushover after only allowing the Cardinal nine points in the first quarter. However, Colorado managed just nine points themselves as the two teams headed into the second quarter with a tie game.

The scoring did pick up in the second quarter as the Buffs went into halftime with a 27-24 lead. Sophomore forward Makenzie Ellis was the impact player for Colorado pouring in nine points for the half. Ellis would go on to lead the team with 14 points, going 5-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore guard Ariana Freeman went 5-of-9 from the field on her way to scoring 10 points, and she claimed seven rebounds for the Buffs. The Cardinal managed to completely shut down Buffs’ sophomore guard Kennedy Leonard. She scored just two points in the first quarter and finished the night with seven points on a 2-of-10 performance from the field. Leonard was able to add seven assists. No one else on the team registered one.

The second half for Colorado didn’t go according to plan. With roughly six minutes to go in the third quarter, Stanford engineered a 15-7 run to end the period, giving them a two-point lead.

The Buffs trailed 46-44 with 10 minutes to play. By the time Colorado scored its first basket of the last quarter at the 6:40 mark, Stanford had taken a 55-46 lead. The onslaught failed to end there; about three minutes, Stanford was up by 15. 

Stanford dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring CU 18-7, handing the Buffs their 10th loss in conference. 

Stanford’s dominance in the second half was thanks in part to junior Brittany McPhee, who went 11-of-20 from the field and dropped 26 points, a conference season high. McPhee became a prominent force on the glass, picking up 11 boards.

Senior Erica McCall ended up with 15 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore Erica Sniezek claimed five points and eight assists for the Cardinal.

But it wasn’t just McPhee and McCall who were cleaning up boards inside the paint.

The standout difference from Friday night’s game were the total rebounds from the Cardinal. Stanford outmuscled the Buffs in the rebounding department 47-33. The Cardinal outscored the Buffs in second chance points, 14-8.

On the day, Colorado shot about 33 percent from the floor, compared to Stanford’s make rate of about 40 percent.

Colorado continues its road trip in the Bay Area and will try to bounce back from Friday night’s defeat as the team travels to Berkeley to take on the California Golden Bears. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. (MST) on Sunday.

Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Drew Sharek at andrew.sharek@colorado.edu and follow him on Twitter @drew_sharek.

Justin Guerriero

Justin Guerriero is a senior managing editor for the CUI from Pittsburgh, PA, who fell in love with the mountains upon touring CU Boulder for the first time prior to his freshman year. He studies broadcast production with minors in history and communication. Follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo

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