Buffs off to the Bay
STANFORD, Calif. — The Colorado women's basketball team hits the road for a pair of contests this weekend. The Buffaloes will start the trip with a rematch against No. 6 Stanford on Friday (7 p.m. MT). CU's weekend will conclude with a visit to California on Sunday (2 p.m. MT).
The Buffs made history last time around against then-No. 1 Stanford, pulling the upset off in overtime, 77-72. The last three contests against the Cardinal have all been decided by a combined 16 points with two of the three games needing overtime.
Colorado (6-8, 4-7 Pac-12) has not been able to reproduce that same kind of magic on the court since beating Stanford. CU has suffered a pair of losses to Arizona State and Oregon State, as well as two postponements since its Jan. 17 win.
A sweep of the northern California schools, for the second time this season, would put the Buffs right back at .500.
"There haven't been too many weekend sweeps in this league," head coach JR Payne pointed out. "This is one we did sweep, which is hard to do in this conference. We're excited for the opportunity to play Stanford of course. They are one of the best teams in the country and Cal also offers up a real challenge."
No doubt the two schools will be gunning for the Buffaloes this weekend, but for different reasons. For Stanford, it will mark a chance for revenge. Colorado bounced the Cardinal from the top spot in the nation and it took The Cardinal a few games to recover, also losing out to UCLA. Friday's game will also mark the first time since Stanford's season-opener that it returns to its home gym, Maples Pavilion, this season. The Cardinal have been playing in Santa Cruz due to COVID restrictions.
"It's hard not playing in your own gym," junior Peanut Tuitele noted. "It could be difficult for them to adjust with it being their first home game. I think we can take advantage of that as a team."
After CU's win over Stanford, the team pointed to its preparation as a major contributing factor. CU hasn't gotten the same results since then, but the Buffs are still reliant on the same kind of intensity and focus in preparing for round two with the Cardinal.
"We did learn from the last game [against Stanford] that we had the ultimate preparation," Tuitele added. "We were ready. We need to have that same mindset. Not only for Stanford but for other games as well."
California offers a different kind of challenge for the Buffs. The Golden Bears have not played since their Jan. 15 loss in Boulder. Cal has had its last five games postponed and are still hungry for that first win of the season.
"Cal has had several weeks of just practice," Payne continued. "A team can absolutely transform themselves with just one good week of practice. They haven't played since they last played us, so we don't know what sort of changes they've made."
Friday's game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. Mary Murphy and Guy Haberman will have the call for the 7 p.m. MT tip. Sunday's game against California will be live-streamed at CUBuffs.com/WatchWBB.
Both games will be live on the Colorado Radio Network. Carol Callan and Cory Lopez will have the call locally on AM 630 and online at CUBuffs.com/listen.