No. 5 Colorado uses big run in 3rd to beat No. 8 Stanford 71-59, VanDerveer stays at 1,201 wins

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Colorado forward Quay Miller, right, shoots over Stanford forward Cameron Brink in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Cliff Grassmick)

BOULDER, Colo.Jaylyn Sherrod crashed into Stanford's bench late in the game and was shocked to see who'd softened her fall. It was none other than Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer.

The Colorado guard and her teammates crashed VanDerveer's shot at a milestone win, too.

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The fifth-ranked Buffaloes rode a strong third quarter to a 71-59 victory over No. 8 Stanford on Sunday, keeping VanDerveer a win away from tying Mike Krzyzewski as the winningest coach in college basketball history.

The longtime Cardinal coach can match Krzyzewski’s all-time record of 1,202 wins Friday in a home game against Oregon.

“We definitely wanted to win this one for her,” Stanford forward Kiki Iriafen.

And Colorado didn't want to be the answer to a trivia question — again. VanDerveer earned career win No. 1,000 at Stanford against Colorado.

“We just wanted to win,” said Sherrod, who had 13 points. “That was the focus.”

Quay Miller had 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Buffaloes (15-1, 5-0 Pac-12) saw five players score in double figures on their way to a ninth straight win. They also snapped a six-game slide against the Cardinal (15-2, 4-1).

Colorado weathered a slow start and pulled away in the third quarter with a 20-2 run. Stanford cut it to 65-59 in the final minute before Sherrod sealed the win with a layup (resting her head on her hands to signal “goodnight”).

Just before that, Sherrod was dribbling along the baseline when she was fouled and fell into VanDerveer.

“Once I saw her sit down I was like, ‘Oh, wow, I ran into her,’" said Sherrod, who was also part of the Colorado squad that beat No. 1 Stanford in double overtime on Jan. 17, 2021, in front of no crowd due to COVID restrictions. "I just wanted to make sure she was OK.”

This marked the first top-10 matchup at CU Events Center since Dec. 17, 1994, when the eighth-ranked Buffaloes lost to top-ranked Tennessee. And despite the frigid weather, the crowd turned out, too, with the place packed with 9,111 fans. It was Colorado’s ninth-largest home crowd for a women’s basketball game.

“So fun to play in front of a crowd like that,” Colorado coach JR Payne said.

A five-time national coach of the year, VanDerveer spent seven seasons at Idaho and Ohio State before her arrival at Stanford in 1985-86. She's 1,201-267 all-time in her career and 1,049-216 with the Cardinal.

“We’re not really focused on that,” VanDerveer said of chasing the mark. “Honestly, we’re just trying to play well each game.”

Iriafen had a big afternoon for Stanford with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Cameron Brink added 12 points and 12 rebounds as she became the seventh player in program history to record 1,000 career boards.

“It was exactly what we expected in terms of physicality,” Iriafen said. “They’re very aggressive.”

Colorado had a 22-3 advantage in fast-break points, along with a 30-18 margin in points in the paint. The Buffaloes are 15-1 for the first time since the 1992-93 season.

“Having the inside-outside presence is crucial for a team that wants to wants to play well at the highest level,” Payne said.

It was a back-and-forth first half, featuring five lead changes and both holding as much as an eight-point lead. Kindyll Wetta hit a running 3-pointer at the buzzer from a step inside the half-court line to give Colorado a 36-30 lead at the break.

For that shot, Wetta got swarmed by teammates.

“I was so nervous the way they tackled her that they were going to injure her,” Payne cracked.


Stanford: The Cardinal's last true road win over an AP top-five team was Nov. 11, 2007, when they beat No. 3 Rutgers.

Colorado: The Buffaloes improved to 6-27 against the Cardinal in their last regular-season meeting as members of the Pac-12. The Buffaloes are set to join the Big 12 next season and the Cardinal are headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference.


Stanford: Host Oregon on Friday.

Colorado: Host No. 2 UCLA on Friday.

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