Buffs hang on for first Pac-12 win


The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pat Rooney

stan­ford, calif.» Colorado made amends Sun­day night for a poor per­for­mance two days ear­lier, edg­ing Stan­ford 56-55 at Maples Pav­il­ion.

The Buffs, who were blown out at Cal on Fri­day in their Pac-12 opener, weath­ered more than a few nerver­ack­ing mo­ments, as Stan­ford ral­lied from 16 points down early in the sec­ond half to make it a nail-biter down the stretch.

“It was all about de­fense, which is some­thing we didn’t do against Cal,” se­nior cen­ter Josh Scott said. “That has to be a sta­ple of our pro­gram. I think (Cal) was kind of a wake-up call, when you’re shoot­ing jump shots and there’s go­ing to be nights when the ball isn’t go­ing in. … Those nights es­pe­cially, you have to be ready to come out and de­fend and re­bound.”

Scott scored 14 points and pulled down 14 re­bounds to lead the way for the Buffs (12-3, 1-1 Pac-12).

The Buffs led 37-27 at half­time and ex­tended their lead to 16 points early in the sec­ond half be­fore the Car­di­nal (8-5, 1-1) stormed back, reel­ing off a 12-4 run that brought Stan­ford within eight points with about 10 min­utes re­main­ing.

Stan­ford bat­tled to within seven

points on a 3-pointer by Mar­cus Sh­effield with 7:30 re­main­ing, a shot that spurred an­other 7-0 run by the Car­di­nal. Stan­ford even­tu­ally whit­tled CU’s lead to just one point in the fi­nal minute and a half, with a pair of free throws from Sh­effield with 37.3 sec­onds left again pulling the hosts within a point and set­ting up a wild fin­ish.

Af­ter a way­ward, des­per­a­tion 3pointer at the shot-clock buzzer by Scott, CU was for­tu­nate on a long re­bound that a Stan­ford player touched with his foot on the side­line, giv­ing Buffs the pos­ses­sion with six sec­onds left. CU com­mit­ted a turnover on the in­bounds play, but Stan­ford’s des­per­a­tion heave from in­side half­court at the buzzer went awry.

“It wasn’t pretty in the sec­ond half,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “Early in the sea­son, learn­ing how to win on the road in the league … it was a tale of two halves. We were great of­fen­sively in the first half. We were atro­cious on of­fense in the sec­ond half.”

For­ward Wes Gor­don fin­ished with nine re­bounds as the Buffs out­re­bounded Stan­ford 43-29.

Mean­while, de­spite ear­lier in­di­ca­tions the sta­tus of in­jured for­ward Xavier John­son would be clar­i­fied this week, the se­nior will re­main in limbo un­til CU re­turns to Boul­der. Boyle said he did not have time to meet with John­son over the week­end re­gard­ing his pend­ing de­ci­sion on whether he will at­tempt a come­back from a torn Achilles ten­don or take a med­i­cal red­shirt.

CU cen­ter Josh Scott dunks on Stan­ford’s Michael Humphrey on Sun­day. Ja­son O. Watson, The As­so­ci­ated Press

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