LAS VEGAS — Tameiya Sadler wasn’t with the Colorado women’s basketball team on Thursday, but she was definitely on their minds.
A sophomore guard, Sadler was injured during the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s win over Washington in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. She was carried off the pitch on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital.
Sadler was still in the hospital on Thursday as the Buffaloes defeated No. 14 Arizona, 45-43, in the quarterfinals at Michelob Ultra Arena.
Although CU did not provide details about Sadler’s injury, she battled back issues.
“Her dad is here with her which is such a blessing to have her here,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “She’s getting better, hour by hour, continues to improve and feels more and more like herself. She’s just going to take it one day at a time to recover.
Sadler, who had started 12 straight games, will not return in the Pac-12 Tournament, but she may be available for the NCAA Tournament later this month.
“We just, more important than anything, want her to feel better,” Payne said. “Basketball is pretty irrelevant at this point. I know she wants to be here with her teammates. We were on FaceTime with her and things like that, but we’re not worried about basketball.
Without Sadler, sophomore Frida Formann returned to the starting lineup and contributed eight points, including a whopping 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. Formann said it was okay to adjust to a fresh start.
“We all know how to play in multiple places and if they move us, it’s fine, so it wasn’t too much of an adjustment,” Formann said.
Formann hit a layup with 3:43 left to give the Buffs the lead for good, 42-41, then dumped a 3-pointer with 1:59 left.
“I was open, so I know it’s a shot I should take,” Formann said. “It was important on the stretch and gave us more leeway.”
Overall, without Sadler, CU’s coaching staff had to shorten their rotation. Only eight players saw the field against the Wildcats.
“It reduces your spin and knocks a ball handler out of the lineup,” Payne said of Sadler’s absence. “You need someone (off the pitch) who is creative and aggressive offensively and at this stage, playing three games in three days, depth is important. I thought that other people had mobilized. … This team is very fair, ‘What do you need me to do?’ I expect everyone, even if they haven’t played today, I expect them to be ready tomorrow.
As they did on Thursday, the Buffs are sure to have Sadler ahead when they face Stanford in the semifinals.
“We really wanted this one for Tam and we really want to keep winning for her,” Formann said. “She is a big part of our team. She has a good personality. She always makes everyone smile, always excites us. So we really miss her in that regard and I think that’s also why we really want to do this for her because she means so much to our team.
CU will face No. 2 Stanford for the third time this season. Although the Buffs lost both matchups, they had some intense and close games with Stanford over the past three years.
“I think Colorado, JR Payne and his team did a great job,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “And they also hang their hats on defense. It’s a very aggressive team. It’s a very athletic team.
Stanford had just three turnovers against Oregon State on Thursday, but had 13 first-quarter turnovers against CU on Jan. 14.
“The No. 1 thing is we’ll have to take care of the basketball,” VanDerveer said. “And we just have to play our game. I think, again, when you play against the best teams like we do in this conference, I think it just makes us better. And I would like to say that our team has improved more than Colorado since the last time we played.
The crowd was strongly in favor of Arizona, which is drawing well at home and still traveling well for the Pac-12 tournament, for both men and women.
“In fact, at the start of the game, I was sitting there looking at all the different colors in the crowd and I was like, ‘That’s pretty cool,'” CU’s Kindyll Wetta said. “But we obviously went to Arizona this year and played there and that gym wasn’t like that because they had a lot more fans at the Arizona gym. So yeah, it’s a little intimidating. But at the end of the day, we just know we have to do what we have to do and run our business.
CU has won its last two games against top-25 opponents — Thursday against Arizona and Feb. 23 against then-No. 25 Oregon. It’s the first time since December 2007 that CU have won back-to-back matches against ranked opponents. … CU held Arizona to its lowest point total since a 50-38 loss to the Buffs in Boulder on Feb. 23, 2020. Arizona was ranked No. 11 then.
CU Buffs Women’s Basketball vs. No. 2 Stanford Cardinal
ADVICE : Friday, 7 p.m. MST at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
DISSEMINATE: Television – Pac-12 Network. Radio – 6:30 a.m.
RECORDS: Colorado 22-7; Stanford 26-3
COACHES: Colorado – JR Payne, 6th season (94-82; 195-195 career). Stanford– Tara VanDerveer, 35th season (999-207; 1,151-258 career).
KEY PLAYERS: Colorado – G Sila Finau, 5-9, Sr (4.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg); G Frida Formann, 5-11, So. (7.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg); F Mya Hollingshed, 6-3, Sr. (14.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg; 1.1 spg, 1.0 bpg); C Quay Miller, 6-3, Jr. (11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg); G Tameiya Sadler, 5-8, So. (5.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.3 spg); G Jaylyn Sherrod, 5-7, Jr. (7.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.8 spg); F Peanut Tuitele, 6-1, Sr. (7.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg); G Kindyll Wetta, 5-9, Fr. (4.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.1 spg). Stanford– F Francesca Belibi, 6-1, Jr. (8.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg); F Cameron Brink, 6-4, So. (13.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.4 bpg); G Lacie Hull, 6-1, Sr. (4.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.6 apg); G Lexie Hull, 6-1, Sr. (11.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 2.2 spg); G Haley Jones, 6-1, Jr. (12.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.6 apg); G Hannah Jump, 6-0, Jr. (10.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg).
REMARKS: This match is the first of two semi-finals of the Pac-12 tournament. … CU makes its third semifinal appearance in Pac-12 history. The Buffs lost to Stanford in the 2013 semifinals and to California in 2015. … CU is 8-10 all-time in the Pac-12 tournament. … Stanford is the defending Pac-12 Tournament champion and has won the event six times in the previous 10 seasons. The Cardinal is 24-3 all-time in the Pac-12 tournament, including 8-1 in the semifinals. … Dating back to last season, Stanford has won 32 straight games against Pac-12 opponents. … Colorado is 8-1 in its last nine games, the only loss being at Stanford. … The Buffs have won six straight against Pac-12 opponents, their longest streak since 10 in a row in 2013. … CU is 5-24 against Stanford. … The Cardinal won both regular season meetings, 60-52 at Boulder on Jan. 14 and 63-46 at Stanford on Feb. 13. … After beating No. 14 Arizona on Thursday, the Buffs are aiming to beat ranked opponents in back-to-back games for the first time since December 2007. … This is the 23rd time in CU history that the Buffs have faced the top 15 teams in consecutive matches. The only time the Buffs beat the top 15 teams in consecutive games was in December 1981.