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Buffs Knock Off No. 1 Stanford In Overtime

Jan 17, 2021

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BOULDER — Colorado's Mya Hollingshed scored a career-high 32 points Sunday and Frida Formann scored five in overtime to lead the Buffaloes to their first-ever win over a No. 1 ranked team, a 77-72 victory over Stanford at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs improved to 6-6 overall and 4-5 in Pac-12 play while Stanford fell to 11-1, 8-1. The victory was CU's first over Stanford in Pac-12 play and ended a 16-game losing streak to the Cardinal. 

The win also produced a measure of revenge for the Buffs, who lost two games last year to the Cardinal by narrow margins — one in overtime and one on a buzzer beater.

The Buffs, who trailed for the first 24 minutes of the game, finally took their first lead late in the third quarter, then battled through a see-saw fourth quarter. CU trailed in the final minute before a Jaylyn Sherrod steal and layup with 23 seconds remaining tied the game at 67-67 to force overtime.

CU finally took the lead for good, 72-70, on a Formann 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:36 remaining in the extra period. The CU freshman then added two free throws for a four-point lead, 74-70, with 1:10 remaining.

Stanford pulled back within two with 42 seconds left, but Peanut Tuitele added a free throw with four seconds on the clock and Stanford missed a shot just before the buzzer. Hollinsghed then capped her day with two more free throws with just a half second left on the clock to complete the scoring and set off a wild celebration.

Hollingshed finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Formann added 15 points and Tuitele chipped in 10. Sherrodd and Formann also had three assists each while Hollingshed had five steals on the defensive end.

Lexie Hull led Stanford with 19 points.

"I'm just unbelievably proud of our ballclub," CU coach JR Payne said. "I told them all there's 1,000 reasons I'm proud of them. The way we performed today was the biggest. We just really had the right mindset going into this game. There was no fear. We were excited for the opportunity. We didn't start out necessarily the way that we wanted but our team rallied and really dug in and stayed really positive with each other and with themselves and just continued to compete on every single possession."

HOW IT HAPPENED: After trailing for the entire first half and much of the third quarter, the Buffs finally grabbed the lead with 3:39 left in the third period on the strength of an 8-0 run.

After the Cardinal had built its lead to 45-40, Hollingshed hit two free throws before Tuitele put back a CU miss. Following two Stanford misses, Lesila Finau gave the Buffs their first lead of the game at the 3:39 mark with a drive to the hoop, which was quickly followed by a Hollingshed putback that gave the Buffs a 48-45 lead with 2:40 left in the quarter.

Stanford, though, came back to tie the game at 48-48 and again at 50-50 and finally regained the lead with a Lexie Hull 3-pointer to take a 53-51 edge at the end of three periods.

But the Buffs answered again in the fourth quarter, using an 8-0 run to take a 59-55 lead with 7:03 to play. Sherrod opened the surge with a three-point play before Hollingshed scored from the paint and then hit a second-chance 3-pointer to put the Buffs up by four.

"Mya was unstoppable," Payne said. "She was scoring in every possible way. She did a great job against a fantastic defense."

Indeed, CU registered the most points and best shooting percentage (41.5%) by any Cardinal opponent this year, and also collected the most rebounds of any Stanford foe this season (40). 

Stanford, though, chipped away at the lead and with 3:14 to play, took a 65-63 edge on two Hull free throws before Hollingshed tied it up again at 65s with 2:39 remaining with a 12-footer from the elbow.

The Buffs then missed out on a chance to take the lead when Sherrod missed two free throws, and following a timeout Stanford answered with a bucket for a 67-65 lead with 45 seconds remaining.

Colorado turned it over on its next possession and the Buffs appeared to be staring another close loss in the face.

But after another Stanford timeout, Sherrod stole the inbounds pass and collected a layup with 23 seconds remaining to tie the game again at 67-67. The Buffs defense then forced an empty Stanford possession in the final seconds, setting the stage for overtime.

"It took an incredible amount of fortitude," Payne said of Sherrod's game-saving play. "That's what it takes, especially our history with Stanford. Last year we missed our free throws, and Jaylyn was a part of that. She could have easily let herself go back into that place of, 'Oh my gosh it's happening again,' but she's not built like that. She was raised to be really tough and really resilient. So for her to just really dig and and have the fortitude to make that big play I think just speaks volumes of her character."

The Buffs still trailed by one, 70-69, with just more than two minutes left in overtime. But Formann's trey from the top of the arc gave them the lead for good, and her two free throws 26 seconds later provided a bit of a cushion.

"I love the fact that she's just completely fearless," Payne said of her freshman guard. "No matter what the situation or who the opponent is, she plays very fearlessly."

CU then delivered two big defensive stops in the final few seconds to sew up the victory.

"We knew what it felt like to lose," Sherrod said. "It was our will today. We were just not going to lose."

Colorado fell behind early when Stanford opened with a quick 8-0 run in the first two minutes.

But following a timeout, the Buffs began chipping away at the lead. A Hollingshed 3-pointer at the 4:07 mark of the first quarter pulled Colorado to within two, 12-10, and CU trailed 17-14 at the end of the first quarter.

The Cardinal rebuilt its lead to as much as seven, 29-22, late in the second quarter but CU answered with a 7-0 run to tie the score at 29-29. Hollinshed started the run with a bucket inside, Sherrod followed with a 3-pointer and Formann drained a long 3-pointer to cap the run.

Stanford then added a 3-pointer in the final minute of the period to take a 32-29 lead into intermission.

TURNING POINT: Colorado could have checked it in a number of times, beginning when Stanford jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead. But the Buffs rallied and refused to fold every time the Cardinal appeared ready to take control for good. But the key basket of the day may have come from freshman Frida Formann, whose 3-pointer with 1:36 left in overtime gave Colorado the lead for good.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Buffs sent a strong message that they are a postseason-caliber team. They played well offensively against an outstanding defense, and came up with huge defensive stops at critical moments. Meanwhile, Hollingshed showed she deserves to be included in the conversation of the Pac-12's top players.

KEY STATISTICS: CU shot 41.5% from the floor (27-for-65), the best of any Stanford opponent this year … The Buffs hit seven of 10 free throw tries in overtime … CU had a 14-12 edge in second-chance points … The Buffs held Stanford to just 23% shooting from 3-point range (5-for-22).

NOTES: Women's basketball joins the CU volleyball team in being the only program in school history to topple a No. 1 ranked opponent in the regular season (volleyball has beaten No. 1 Nebraska and Washington)...The win is CU's first vs a top-10 team since No. 8/9 Oregon State in the 2016 Pac-12 Tournament...It is just the fourth win against a top 5 team in program history, the last being No. 5 Stanford in 2002...Hollingshed's 32-point game was the first 30+ game by a Buff since Alexis Robinson scored 33 against UCLA (Feb. 8, 2019)...Her attempts (24) tied Sherrod for the most this season...Hollingsheds' 12 FGM career-high...Her 10 rebounds also pushed over 600 for her career (606)...Colorado outscored Stanford 29-24 after the Cardinal 8-0 run to start the game...The Buffs doubled up Stanford 10-5 in the overtime...Colorado only led for 7:11.

NEXT UP: The Buffs hit the road next week for a pair, beginning with a 3 p.m. game Friday at Arizona State (ASU live stream), followed by a 1 p.m. game Sunday at Arizona (Pac-12 Networks). 

Contact: Neill.Woelk@Colorado.edu