BOULDER, Colo. - Stanford traveled a long way to play a basketball game Thursday night that was over almost before it started.
"Right from the start, the first 4 minutes, the tone was set," Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said after Colorado jumped out to a 9-0 lead on the way to a 75-54 rout in front of 11,212 fans at the mile-high Coors Event Center.
"They came out with more intensity and more of that want and desire to win the game," Stanford sophomore Chasson Randle agreed. How did that happen on the heels of two Stanford victories on a recent three-game homestand?
"There is no complete answer for that, I guess," said Randle, shrugging a bit. "We have to bounce back Sunday."
The Cardinal (11-8, 2-4 Pac-12) treks to Utah for its next test on the road, where it's 0-3 in conference play this season. Stanford has lost 30 of its past 40 Pac-12 road games.
Asked how the team can alter that trend, Randle said, "We really just have to come out with some sense of urgency from the beginning, like our life depends on it."
Dawkins said the Cardinal has no mental block about Pac-12 road games.
"I don't think it's a mental obstacle for us because we won on the road last year," he said. "We won here."
Stanford blasted Colorado 74-50 at Boulder last year, but the Buffaloes (13-6, 3-4) have lost just three times in 25 home games over the past two seasons.
They were not going to lose on Thursday night - Andre Roberson saw to that. The junior
"Andre was a beast," CU coach Tad Boyle said. "You can just tell when he's dialed in and plays with energy."
Added Randle, "He really imposed his will."
As all the Buffaloes did. A year after Stanford dominated the boards 85-53 in two wins, CU won the battle of the boards 48-30. The Buffs had five players score in double figures and shot 53 percent for the game.
"It was physical out there - it was a blood bath," Boyle said. "I'm proud of our guys."
Randle had 15 points and Dwight Powell 11 to lead Stanford, but they combined to shoot 10 for 34 as the Cardinal converted just 31 percent as a team. "They played with terrific energy, moved well, defended well," Dawkins said.
Stanford had battled back from a 9-0 opening hole and trailed just 18-15 after a 3-pointer by Randle with 13:07 left.
But the Buffs rarely gave the Cardinal a chance to breathe, and their lead was back to 17 points late in the half and was 44-29 at the break.
Facing a 54-38 hole with 14 minutes left, the Cardinal had one last gasp.
Stanford scored 10 straight points, including two driving layups by Powell, an acrobatic layup and free throw by freshman Rosco Allen and a 3-pointer by Randle. In a span of barely 4 minutes, Stanford had trimmed the margin to 54-46.
But CU let Stanford get no closer.
Dawkins said the Cardinal rushed things as it got within striking distance.
"When you're battling uphill all night, there's a sense of desperation. You've got to have some poise," he said.
Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.