Stanford women’s basketball upset by Colorado as Buffaloes post first-ever win over No. 1 team





Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s basketball and other college sports for espnW. Voipel began playing women’s basketball in 1984 and joined ESPN in 1996.

Stanford’s No. 1 women’s basketball team lost for the first time this season on Sunday, losing 77-72 in overtime to Colorado, while the Buffaloes earned their first-ever victory over a ranked team.

For Buffalo, it was its fifth win in 26 games with Stanford and first since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in the 2011-12 season. Earlier in the day, Buffalo was 0 for 16 against the Cardinals in the Pac-12 contest.

The last time Colorado beat Stanford was in the Sweet 16 in 2002, when the Buffaloes were still in the Big 12.

Buffalo suffered two losses to the Cardinals last season, 76-68 after overtime at Stanford and 69-66 at Colorado. Stanford won its last game with two 3’s in the final 14 seconds.

Under coach JR Payne, who took control of Colorado during the 2016/17 season, the Buffaloes have a record of 2-36 against opponents named in the Associated Press investigation.

There were these close games that we thought we could win and we didn’t, Payne said. We talked about not being the team that just comes close, but it does. Everyone deserves to enjoy the historic nature of victory.

Senior forward Mya Hollingshead led the Colorado (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12) with 32 points and 10 rebounds.

They played basketball in a very inspired way, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. We didn’t defend Hollingshead, for God’s sake. She did what she wanted with whoever was looking after her. We tried to put different people in there. We fought too much. The ball didn’t move like we wanted it to. I am very disappointed with the way we played and we have to learn from it.

Lexi Hull scored 19 points to lead Stanford (11-1, 8-1). Haley Jones, who missed the Cardinals’ win at Utah on Friday for an unknown reason, returned to the starting lineup and scored 16 points.

According to statistics and data research from ESPN, the number one women’s basketball player has won 468-6 against unranked opponents over the past 20 years. Stanford has suffered two such defeats, and was also defeated by the Texas No. 1 last season.

Colorado is the team that has scored the most runs against the Cardinals this season. The previous record was 8. January from Oregon with a 70-63 win for the Cardinals.

Stanford will take on No. 8 UCLA on Friday and UCLA on Sunday in Santa Cruz, California, where the Cardinals play their home games as they are not allowed to play or practice at the Maples Pavilion due to Santa Clara County COVID-19 rules.

I hope people dig much deeper, work much harder to play at UCLA and USC, Vanderweijer said. It couldn’t be simpler. I hope this really bothers people and they get under their skin and decide that we want to play basketball at a different level.

With the loss to Stanford, it seems almost certain that the No. 2 Louisville, which defeated Florida State 84-56 on Sunday to go 12-0, will jump to No. 1 for the first time in program history when the AP poll comes out on Monday.

It’s a great honor, said Louisville coach Jeff Walz, who led the Cardinals in the 2007-08 season and has reached the final four times, including two losses in NCAA championship games. It’s something we’re proud of because we’ve been supporting something here for 14 years. A lot of work has been done, a lot of great players, great staff. Not all women’s basketball programs are as well supported as ours.

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