BOULDER, Colo. – Stanford escaped two close calls against Colorado last year. The Cardinal couldn’t avoid a loss to the Buffaloes a third time.
Frida Formann hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:36 left in overtime to lead Colorado to a 77-72 upset win over No. 1 Stanford on Sunday.
“You can take all the points off the board, the rebounds, the steals — this game was won off our will,” Jaylyn Sherrod said. “We just didn’t want to lose. We knew what it felt like to lose in a close game to Stanford. We were just not losing today. That was our mentality. That’s what won us the game — our mentality, our will and a girl named Mya Hollingshed."
Hollingshed had a career-high 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Buffaloes (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12).
“We did not defend Hollingshed worth a darn,” Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. “She had her way with whoever was guarding her. We didn’t do a good enough job in that respect.”
Peanut Tuitele blocked Lexi Hull’s 3-point attempt that would have tied it at with a second left to give Colorado its first win over a top-ranked team in program history. It also ended a 16-game losing streak to Stanford after a couple of near wins last season.
The Cardinal won in overtime in Boulder last year and then needed Kiana Williams’ 40-foot shot at the buzzer to beat the Buffaloes at home three weeks later.
Those served as motivation for Colorado.
“There are certain games that stick with you forever,” Buffaloes coach JR Payne said. “You can win a bunch games after that but there are some that you truly can’t let go of, and for us and our ballclub it was our two games against Stanford last year.”
It was the second consecutive season that the Cardinal lost to an unranked team as No. 1. Texas knocked them off last time.
Stanford (11-1, 8-1) led 70-69 after Hull split a pair of free throws. Formann, a freshman, hit a shot from the top of the arc to put Colorado ahead for good.
It was 74-72 when Hull stole the ball from Hollingshed, but Anna Wilson missed a layup with 5 seconds left. Tuitele made one of two free throws, setting up the final seconds.
Hull finished with 19 points, Haley Jones had 16 points and seven rebounds and Cameron Brink scored 13 for the Cardinal.
“I hope this really bothers people and gets under their skin and they decide we want to play basketball at a different level,” VanDerveer said. “t was really disappointing to me.”
The Buffaloes had a chance to win it in regulation but Sherrod missed two free throws that would have given Colorado the lead with 57 seconds. Her steal and layup with 23 seconds left tied it and sent the game to overtime.
Lesila Finau’s driving layup with 3:39 left in the third quarter gave the Buffaloes a 46-45 lead, its first of the game.
Hull’s 3-pointer gave Stanford a 53-51 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Colorado wouldn’t go away. Hollingshed scored seven straight points to put Colorado ahead 61-57 with 6:33 left. The Cardinal scored six straight points and Hollingshed tied it with a turnaround baseline jumper tied it heading into the final four minutes.
Stanford: The Cardinal will fall from the top of the rankings, and things won’t get easier with a matchup with No. 8 UCLA on Friday night.
Colorado: The Buffaloes seem to always be ready for the Cardinal. They nearly beat Stanford twice last season and have been in competitive in most games in recent history. They didn’t wilt in final minutes.
ONE AND DONE
Colorado came close to beating a No. 1 team before Sunday. In the Buffaloes’ four previous matchups with top-ranked teams they have lost by a combined 20 points, including an overtime loss at Tennessee on Dec. 12, 1993. Before Sunday their last game against a No. 1 team was Feb. 14, 2004, a 51-45 home loss to Texas.
Stanford: Host No. 8 UCLA on Friday night.
Colorado: At Arizona State on Friday.