Buffs Back Home Against Cal and No. 1 Stanford
BOULDER – Colorado women's basketball returns to the CU Events Center on Friday, hosting California (3:30 p.m. MT). The two-game homestand closes out with a matchup against the top team in the country, No. 1 Stanford on Sunday (Noon).
The Buffaloes have a bit of a short week, having already played once this week. CU played at Southern California on Monday, a game that was rescheduled from Sunday. Colorado got behind by 12 to the Trojans and got back to within two in the final two minutes, before coming up just short.
"It's hard because we have to have a really short memory," head coach JR Payne noted. "Every team in the league is so good. It requires so much focus and attention to detail in our preparation. We really can't dwell on anything for long. It was really disappointing to have chances and not be able to convert. I didn't think we performed very well for the first two or three quarters. To still have a chance at the end is great, but it also reminds us that you can't just show up for any team for just a half or even a quarter. That was disappointing but to be honest, we had to move on pretty quickly to Cal."
On paper, Friday's matchup heavily favors Colorado. CU enters the weekend with a 4-6 record and 2-5 in the Pac-12. Cal has yet to pick up a win this season, opening 0-10.
The numbers shift heavily in favor of Colorado as well too. The Buffs are averaging 66.9 points per game, while Cal sits 12th in the Pac-12 with just 47.1 points per game. The Golden Bears are getting outscored by almost 25 points a game this season and are fresh off a tough 59-point loss to Oregon. Cal has a limited rotation with four of its starting five playing more than 30 minutes per game.
Colorado isn't looking at the numbers though. The Buffs have been in similar situations. They have been the team that gets written off too soon. They know that the game is played on the hardwood and not on paper. Every game is a chance to make a new statement and the Buffs know they are going to get Cal's best punch.
"Cal does a great job of getting the most out of its players," Payne added. "They play hard. There is nothing about them that says they are defeated in any way shape or form. They play their hearts out and they're aggressive. They're fantastic on the glass. I have a tremendous amount of respect for their entire coaching staff."
Once Colorado gets past Friday, it can turn its attention to Sunday. Coach Payne and the Buffs will have a quick turnaround when No. 1 Stanford town. But do not let the one day of preparation fool anyone. CU will be ready.
Nobody has forgotten the two previous matchups with the Cardinal. The Buffs were within seconds of beating Stanford both games last season, losing by a combined 11 points, but even that is a bit misleading.
The Buffs' visit to Stanford last season was the first thriller, needing overtime to determine the winner. The No. 6 Stanford built its lead in the extra period, resulting in the eight-points win (76-68). The Cardinal came to Boulder as the No. 8 team in the AP rankings. Stanford led by 12 points before halftime and Buffs fought back to lead by five in the fourth quarter. The Cardinal hit a last-second-desperation 3 at the buzzer to steal the 69-66 decision.
Both games this week will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. Thad Anderson and Kami Carmann Snyder will have the calls. Fans can also tune in across the Colorado Radio Network (CUBuffs.com/Listen) to hear Cory Lopez and Carol Callan.