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Buffs' Run Ends In Semifinals To Stanford

Mar 4, 2022

LAS VEGAS—All good things come to an end. And for the Colorado Buffaloes, that run came to an end in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament at the hands of top-seed and No. 2 Stanford, 71-45 here Friday night. 

"I'm not too sure what to say," head coach JR Payne said after the loss. "Disappointed about the outcome of the game, proud of how we battled on the boards. We had a hard time scoring when we turned it over. Too many turnovers against a team that makes you pay for pretty much every mistake you make. But Stanford's a great team. I think we're also a great team, very competitive game. And we just didn't score the ball the way we needed to win today."

Kindyll Wetta led the way for the Buffs with 12 points off the bench and added four rebounds. Jaylyn Sherrod added 10 points and shot 8-of-10 from the line. Mya Hollingshed had a game-high 10 rebounds and added seven points. 

Stanford was led by the trio of Haley Jones, who scored a game-high 17 points, while Cameron Brink scored 14 points and had nine rebounds and Anna Wilson scored 12 points, helping Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer to her 1,000th win at Stanford. 

The Buffs shot 30.6 percent on the day and was just 4-for-21 (19%) from 3-point range. CU finished the tournament shooting 33.3 percent. 

"I don't think it's a single thing [shooting struggles]," Sherrod explained. "I think we've just got to stay confident, shoot the ball with confidence and do what we do. I think we just didn't come out and shoot the ball well, and that's just the end of that."

HOW IT HAPPENED: The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair with six lead changes and the Cardinal coming out with a slim 11-10 lead. Wetta led the Buffs with four points and had the only Colorado points over the last seven minutes of the quarter. 

The second quarter remained low scoring and after a tussle between Hollingshed and Brink, it sparked the Cardinal to a 12-5 run to open up a 26-15 lead with four minutes left in the half. The Cardinal also scored five quick points in the final 35 seconds of the half to open up a 33-18 advantage at the break. 

"I just don't think we upped our intensity defensively," Hollingshed commented. "We were starting to get rolling on our offense and we were trading baskets at one point. But we weren't doing what we needed to do with a stop, score, stop. I think that's what ultimately led to that."

The Buffs opened up the second half strong, scoring 10 of the first 14 points of the third quarter to bring the lead down to single digits at 37-28. The two remained relatively even most of the rest of the third quarter until the two minutes. Stanford's Anna Wilson scored the final nine Cardinal points, including two 3's to open up a 53-37 advantage.

"Anytime a team goes on a run like that it's an important stretch," Sherrod noted. "As Mya said, we weren't getting stop, score, stop. So, we were kind of trading baskets at that point. That wasn't what we needed to do when we were trying to come back."

The Buffs didn't quit, but the Cardinal remained confident and maintained a 20-point lead throughout the final quarter, pushing as much as 26 points by the end with the final score of 71-45.  

KEY MOMENT: After getting the lead under 10 points in the third quarter, the Buffs looked like they were going to make a run, but Anna Wilson's back-to-back 3's at the end of the third quarter sparked the Cardinal to open up the game to the 20 point mark for a majority of the fourth quarter. 

UP NEXT: The Buffs now await their NCAA Tournament fate. Colorado currently has a NET ranking of 28 and how has to wait nine days for Selection Sunday, which will air March 13 at 6 p.m. MT on ESPN. 

NOTES: CU falls to 0-3 in the Pac-12 semifinals...Wetta's 12 points matched her season-high (vs Texas Southern)...She had one steal to give her 63 on the season, remaining fourth-most by a CU freshman...Wetta finished second on the team with 8.7 points per game in the tournament, trailing Hollingshed's 11.3...Hollingshed snagged 31 rebounds in the three games...Lesila Finau left the game after playing just 11 minutes with an ankle injury.

HOLLINGSHED NOTES: Hollingshed increased her career points total to 1666...She surpassed 900 career rebounds, now with 906...Friday was her 27th career double-figure rebounding game...It was also her 140th career game, increasing her school record in appearances.