CU blown out in second half
Of all of Stanford’s weapons, none seemed to give Colorado too much trouble.
Instead, the Buffs did themselves in.
Thanks to a second-half CU meltdown, Stanford rolled to a 67-43 blowout win Sunday afternoon at the Coors Events Center.
“We just let up,” senior guard Marcus Hall said. “I think as a team, in the second half, we just gave up.”
Although Stanford (8-1) led through the first half, the Buffs played close and managed to contain the Cardinal’s scoring threats. CU went into halftime trailing, 25-22.
But in the next 20 minutes, the deficit ballooned to 24 points.
Stanford’s weapons came alive – the height in the post, the perimeter shooting and the speed – as the Cardinal exploited CU’s sluggishness in transition and weakness in the paint.
Through the first half, Stanford made 34 percent of its shots from the field. In the second half, that figure jumped to 62 percent.
Colorado (5-3) pulled down zero offensive rebounds in the second half and found itself frequently struggling to counter the transition speed of Stanford guards Mitch Johnson and Anthony Goods.
Goods finished with 15 points, tied with forward Lawrence Hill for best on the team. Johnson scored six.
Taking advantage of its strength and height in the post, nine of the Cardinal’s 14 second-half field goals came in the paint. Stanford also pulled down 38 team rebounds, 17 more than Colorado.
But the height wasn’t an insurmountable advantage, Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik said.
“We can overcome that,” he said. “We just seemed to run out of gas and had a ‘Deer in the headlights’ look.”
Hall led Colorado in scoring, finishing with 16 points. Freshman guard Cory Higgins was second in scoring with 10.
Higgins, like his teammate and coach, explained the loss not as being overmatched, but as a loss of intensity.
“When things got tough, we stopped playing as a team,” he said.
Colorado’s struggle to play with consistent intensity comes in an uncharacteristic season so far. The Buffs came into the game on a three-game winning streak, the longest they’ve sustained since 2005.
And for the first time in nearly a decade, Colorado won two consecutive road games (at Air Force and Denver last week).
Less than a month into the season, the Buffs have almost equaled their 7-20 win total from last year.
They’ve put together big wins against teams like Florida A&M, Colorado Christian and Air Force, but have struggled against stronger, taller teams like New Mexico and Wisconsin.
The issue is the mentality and aggressiveness, Bzdelik said. And Hall agreed.
“I guess as a team we just have to find something to make us hungry,” Hall said. “It’s a long season, and we’ve got 20-plus games left. We’ve just got to keep fighting.”
Colorado guard Marcus Hall played a full 40 minutes against Air Force last week and 40 again versus Stanford. The last Colorado player to log a full game on the court before Hall was Michel Morandis, who played 41 against Oregon on March 17, 2004 .
Senior guard Richard Roby is one point away from tying Randy Downs for sixth place in career scoring at Colorado. Roby scored seven points against Stanford to move up to 1,565 points. Downs, who played from 1982 to 1985, has 1566 …
Sunday’s game was part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. The series is in its inaugural year in pitting schools from the Big 12 against Pac-10 schools for a week of the season. Unlike other national series, there is no official tally kept and no conference winner named.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Justin Coons at email@example.com.