- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Seattle Seahawks All-Pro cornerback and former Stanford standout Richard Sherman gave the Cardinal a pep talk about “seizing the moment” before facing Colorado on Wednesday night.

Instead, Sherman sat in the stands afterward and watched the visitors take it away.

Josh Scott had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Xavier Johnson scored 14 points and the Buffaloes boosted their chances for a first-round bye in next week’s Pac-12 Conference tournament with a 59-56 victory over Stanford.

“We can’t underestimate how much this helped us,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “This really helped us. I know there are some doubters out there about Colorado. It’s hard to make a case for yourself if you go on a big slide.”

Xavier Talton added nine points and five rebounds to help the Buffaloes (21-9, 10-7 Pac-12) break a two-game losing skid and hand the Cardinal another late-season setback under coach Johnny Dawkins.

“There were some tough plays that had to be made down the stretch,” Scott said. “It was a big victory morally, emotionally and physically for our team.”

Chasson Randle scored 24 points to rally the Cardinal (18-11, 9-8) from an eight-point deficit and take the lead in the final minutes. He missed a 3-pointer as time expired to seal Stanford’s third straight loss.

Both teams began the day tied with California for fourth place in Pac-12 play. The top four teams earn a first-round bye in next week’s conference tournament in Las Vegas.

Colorado completes its regular-season slate Saturday at Cal. Stanford hosts Utah in its finale.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Randle, who shot 9 of 18 from the floor. “Especially coming home and having the crowd here and to have the opportunity for a first-round bye.”

Randle had little help when the Cardinal needed it most.

Josh Huestis finished with nine points and 13 rebounds and Dwight Powell added eight points for Stanford, which is trying to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in six seasons under Dawkins, who is facing an increasing amount of pressure each year that drought persist.

The Cardinal, who made the tournament in the 13 of 14 seasons prior to his arrival, will likely need a strong run in Las Vegas next week for an at-large bid in the Big Dance now.

“To get over the hump, you have to win games down the stretch,” Dawkins said. “We have opportunities. I think our season’s still in front of us, and we have to take advantage of our opportunities.”

Even with the stakes high, there were chunks of empty seats throughout the arena. Sherman and former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck tried to help fill the void, sitting together in the stands and, at times, drawing more attention from fans than the action on the court.

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