Stanford bounced back from its humbling loss to Connecticut on Saturday by squeezing the life out of No. 20 Colorado before the Buffaloes could even think about pulling off an upset.
The No. 4-ranked Cardinal roared to a 17-2 lead in its Pac-12 opener in Boulder, Colo., on Friday, and eased to a 57-40 victory.
So while the 61-35 loss to UConn ended Stanford's 82-game home winning streak, the Cardinal extended its winning streak against conference foes to 79 in a row by beating a Colorado team that figured to give the Cardinal a challenge on the road. The Buffaloes were one of just three remaining unbeaten teams in the country. They had beaten then-No. 8 Louisville in Boulder on Dec. 14 and won their next two home games by a combined margin of 81 points.
But Stanford (12-1) never allowed Colorado to get into the game and get any confidence. Joslyn Tinkle hit a three-pointer 29 seconds into the game, the Cardinal controlled the game from there. Stanford took a 5-0 lead before Colorado scored its first points with nearly four minutes gone. The Cardinal then scored 12 points in a row to essentially put the game away midway through the first half.
Stanford led by 17 points at halftime, pushed the margin to 21 early in the second half and never led by fewer than 12 points after that. The closest the Buffaloes came was 49-37 with 3:33 left in the game.
Chiney Ogwumike led the Cardinal with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Amber Orrange had 13 points, five rebounds and six assists.
After Tinkle made her three-pointer in the first minute, the Cardinal made only 1 of 10 three-point shots the rest of the game, but Stanford limited Colorado to 28.8 percent shooting to prevent the Buffaloes from challenging.
Now Stanford must beat Utah on Sunday to set up its much-anticipated back-to-back games against No. 7 Cal on Tuesday and next Saturday, January 13. The Bears struggled against Utah on Friday, but came away with a 55-50 victory.