BOULDER - After being manhandled twice by Stanford in their first Pac-12 Conference season, the Colorado Buffaloes struck back Thursday night - hard and often.
Leading buzzer to buzzer, the Buffs bashed the Cardinal 75-54 at the Coors Events Center. It was CU's first win against Stanford in six tries, with the Buffs' last victory coming on Dec. 23, 1990 in Boulder.
The Buffs improved to 8-1 in the Events Center this season and 40-5 on their homecourt under third-year coach Tad Boyle. Stanford beat CU 84-64 last season at Stanford and 74-50 in Boulder.
CU (13-6, 3-4) had five players in double figures, topped by sophomore Askia Booker's 13. He scored eight consecutive points in the second half, stopping a rally that had brought Stanford to within eight points.
Junior Andre Roberson scored 12 points and tied a career-high with 20 of CU's 44 rebounds. Freshman Josh Scott and sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie also added 12 points, while Xavier - it's OK to call him "Jam" - Johnson contributed 11.
Stanford (11-8, 3-3) was led by Chasson Randle's 15.
Wanting a good start, the Buffs couldn't have had a better one. Scoring on their first nine possessions, they went up 16-5, with Johnson's first jam of the night - a baseline drive from the left side - getting CU to 16.
"XJ" wasn't through and his teammates weren't either. Another jam on a drive from the right baseline came at the tail end of a 16-5 run that pushed CU ahead 42-25. Then he scored the Buffs' final points of the half on a put-back stuff of a Scott miss for a 44-29 halftime lead.
CU outrebounded Stanford 24-14 in the first half, with Roberson getting 11 of his board total in the first 20 minutes. The Buffs were careful with the ball, too, not committing the first of their four first-half turnovers until 3:26 remained before intermission. They went 27 possessions before turning it over, and on defense they held the Cardinal to 34.3 percent from the field (12-for-35) while shooting 56.7 percent (17-for-30).
After never trailing in the first half, the Buffs' pressing second-half question was whether they could maintain their intensity - knowing the Cardinal would ratchet up its own. The short answer for CU: Yes.
When Johnson threw down his fourth jam - this one capping a breakaway at the 14-minute mark - the Buffs took their largest lead of the night, 54-36. But the Cardinal wasn't done.
Stanford closed to within 11 points (54-43) on a three-point play by Rosco Allen, then cut CU's advantage to single digits (54-46) on a three-pointer by Randle with 9:55 to play.
But the Cardinal never came closer than eight points. A pair of free throws by Dinwiddie with 8:53 to play restored the Buffs' 10-point lead (56-46). And after Roberson swat and rebound, the irrepressible Booker scored eight consecutive points for a 64-48 CU advantage with just over 6 minutes remaining.
When Sabatino Chen buried a three-pointer from the left corner with 2:23 left, CU went up by 19 (70-51). The lead got larger when Boyle emptied his bench, with crowd favorite Ben Mills scoring his four points in the final minute.
The Buffs are back at the Events Center on Sunday (1:30 p.m., FSN) to face California.