No. 2 Stanford women’s basketball (12-3, 3-0 Pac-12) started its Martin Luther King Jr. weekend off right with a win against previously-unbeaten No. 22 Colorado (13-1, 2-1 Pac-12). The Cardinal outdid the Buffaloes by a score of 60-52.
It was a rough first quarter for Stanford, marked by 2-for-9 shooting and 12 turnovers. The Cardinal started out shaky, missing their first shot and turning the ball over twice before senior guard Lacie Hull gave Stanford its first points of the day. After those initial points, the Cardinal would not score again until the 6:20 mark when Lacie’s twin, senior guard Lexie Hull, made two free throws.
The Buffaloes responded with a 7-0 run over four-and-a-half minutes to bring the lead to double digits. Lexie Hull made two free throws, and freshman forward Kiki Iriafen made a layup. The quarter ended 15-8 in favor of Colorado.
The second quarter, in contrast to the first, was much better for Stanford. An early three-pointer by sophomore guard Jana Van Gytenbeek brought Stanford to within three points of Colorado. However, Quay Miller of Colorado proceeded to score the next four points, stretching the score to a seven-point difference.
The Cardinal were able to bring the lead back down to two points with a jumper by sixth-year guard Anna Wilson and three-pointer from junior guard Hannah Jump. Yet the Buffaloes were able to swing momentum back in their favor, going on another 7-0 run. In the last minute of the half, Stanford managed to score four more points, going into the locker room down 28-24, but with some momentum.
Stanford started the second half capitalizing on the energy from the end of the second quarter. The Cardinal set the pace with the first three scores, capturing the lead for the first time all game. After another small run that allowed Colorado to go up by five, the Cardinal fought back and tied the game at 41 to end the quarter.
The final quarter was highlighted by complete Stanford control of the ball. The Cardinal immediately went on a 7-3 run to open the quarter, giving them a two-score lead. This lead would not be relinquished for the remainder of the game.
Following a layup by sophomore forward Cameron Brink, a scoring drought for both teams ensued for three-and-a-half minutes. The Buffaloes tried to go on another scoring run to take the lead back, but by the time they did, it was too little too late. Stanford made 6-of-8 free throws within the last minute to win by a score of 60-52.
The Cardinal’s slow start to the day kept the contest close, but when Stanford finally found its momentum, its elite play outmatched Colorado. The first half was defined by 15 Cardinal turnovers, as opposed to the second half having only seven.
Stanford also struggled to move the ball efficiently until the second half. Four assists in the first half paled in comparison to eight in the second half. The offensive struggles of the first half did not end there, as the Cardinal shot 28% in the first half compared to 48% in the second.
The Cardinal were led by junior guard Haley Jones with 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Brink added 10 points and seven rebounds as well. Off the bench, junior forward Ashten Prechtel had a 10-point, eight-rebound and two-block performance.
After this win, Stanford looks to extend its sting of victories as it takes on the Utah Utes (9-3, 0-0 Pac-12) in Salt Lake City. Tip off is set for Sunday at 11 a.m. PT.