STANFORD -- Junior Dwight Powell had no time think on his final play Wednesday night in Stanford's heartbreaking 65-63 defeat to Colorado in a Pac-12 game at Maples Pavilion.
The lanky forward grabbed the ball with 2.2 seconds left, then tried to beat the clock to the basket with a thundering dunk.
He got there a click too late in front of an announced crowd of 4,395 as Stanford (16-13, 7-9 Pac-12) lost its third consecutive home game.
Coach Johnny Dawkins knew it was late, saying Powell "should have laid the ball up."
But the coach couldn't quibble with the shot on a night his team played the Buffaloes to the finish line after losing by 21 points Jan 24 in Boulder, Colo.
"It was the right play for us, playing for overtime," Dawkins said. "That was the best play that we had."
It also was unexpected after the Buffaloes (19-8, 9-6) took a five-point lead with 15.1 seconds left on Andre Roberson's two free throws.
But senior Andy Brown made a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining, and Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie missed a free throw to set up the final, heart-pounding play that began with an inbounds pass.
"Any time you lose at the buzzer it hurts," said Brown, who tied his career-best with 17 points.
But no one was pointing to Powell's final play as the reason Stanford dropped its fourth of five games in February as a season of promise imploded.
The Cardinal led by 10 with 14:43 left on Chasson
"As fast as we were able to gain that margin, they were able to erase it," Dawkins said.
The Buffaloes scored eight consecutive points to close to 43-41 with 11:59 left. Dinwiddie stole the ball and raced down court for an uncontested layup before Dawkins called a timeout to try to stop the fall.
Then Colorado scored seven in a row from 9:31 to 8:30 behind Roberson's hot hand to take a lead it would not lose.
The Cardinal couldn't contain Roberson, who led the Buffaloes with a career-best 24 points. Dinwiddie added 19 as Colorado shot 42.9 percent despite making only 4 of 18 from beyond the arc.
Sophomore guard Randall added 16 for Stanford and Powell scored 12.
Stanford, the reigning NIT champion, entered the season hoping to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time in Dawkins' five-year tenure.
Now the school's only chance of reversing course will come in two weeks at the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas, where the team must win four games in four days to earn the league's automatic berth.