“His mindset is important,” Cardinal coach Jerod Haase said. “Getting to the right spot, being aggressive and confident but not to the point he puts too much pressure on himself. He was there. During the shootaround he looked like he was in a good spot.”
Daeon Davis scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half for the Cardinal (10-10, 3-5), who had lost five of their previous seven games. Bryce Wills had 12 points and seven rebounds.
“The offense was faster paced in the second half,” Davis said. “We were getting transition points and the overall player movement was better. We found open lanes and were looking to get assists.”
Tyler Bey scored 17 points to lead the Buffaloes (11-8, 2-5), who have lost three of four. McKinley Wright added 14 points, Lucas Siewart had 13 and Shane Gatling 10.
Stanford used a 17-4 run to pull ahead midway through the second half. Josh Sharma’s dunk gave the Cardinal their first lead of the game at 47-46 with 11:11 left to play. Davis followed with a 3-pointer.
The Cardinal offense shifted into another gear in the second half, making 15 of their first 21 shots (71.4 percent) to grab a 68-56 edge with less than four minutes to play. Stanford was 8 of 24 (33.3 percent) in the first half.
“We just didn’t guard them in the second half, they shot 72 percent. Nothing changed for us in the second half; we just let our guard up,” Wright said. “There’s nothing else to it. I honestly can’t tell you.”
The Buffaloes’ offense went the other direction, connecting on 8 of their first 26 shots of the second half after shooting 44.4 percent in the first half.
“In the first half, I couldn’t have been happier with the execution defensively of the game plan, our toughness factor and holding them to 37 percent,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “In the second half that toughness factor went away.”
Colorado built a 31-19 advantage with 4:35 remaining in the first half but the Cardinal chipped away and were within 37-31 at halftime.
Colorado earned its first Pac-12 road victory at Cal on Thursday, improving to 3-5 away from Boulder. The Buffaloes were 1-10 on the road last year. … Colorado has not swept a Pac-12 road trip in nearly six years, and it’s happened just once.
Stanford’s Okpala’s 23.5 scoring average over his previous four games is the seventh-best among the six major conferences in college basketball during that span. He’s reached 20 points or more in 11 games this season which is the most in the Pac-12 and seven more than he achieved last year. … Sharma is averaging 11.4 points and 8.0 rebounds over his last eight games, after averaging 6.6 and 3.8 in his first 11 contests of the season.
Davis was called for a technical foul for what he explained was “over communication. I was asking about calls,” he said with a smile.
Colorado returns home to face Oregon State on Thursday.
Stanford travels to California a week from Sunday.
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