WNIT cancellation brings abrupt end to CU Buffs season

Colorado was expecting invitation to 64-team postseason tournament

Colorado’s Quinessa Caylao-Do tries to score on Arizona’s Sam Thomas during the Pac-12 game on February 23, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Following the lead of several professional sports leagues and college sporting events, the Women’s NIT has been canceled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The WNIT cancellation leads to an abrupt end to the season for the Colorado women’s basketball team, which was hoping to get an invitation. The 64-team tournament field was to be announced on Monday.

CU (16-14) was likely to get an invitation and had submitted a bid to host games in the tournament. The Buffs, who last played on March 5 in the first round of the Women’s Pac-12 Tournament, had been practicing this week in anticipation of extending their season.

CU was seeking its first postseason appearance since reaching the Sweet 16 of the WNIT in 2017. The Buffs played in the WNIT four times in the previous nine seasons.

This will be the first time CU has finished with a winning record and not played in a postseason tournament since the 1990-91 season – seven years before the inaugural WNIT.

At 16-14, the Buffs finished with a winning record for the first time since the 2016-17 season (17-16) and their winning percentage .533 is the program’s best since going 19-15 (.559) in 2013-14.

CU’s season came to an end with a 69-54 loss to Southern California in the first-round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.

Quinessa Caylao-Do, the Buffs’ lone senior, closes her career with 722 points and 322 rebounds. She played in 112 career games, with 78 starts and finished with 2,821 career minutes, ranking just outside the top 25 in program history. Caylao-Do also helped the Buffs to their only two winning seasons in the last six years.

Freshman point guard Jaylyn Sherrod misses a chance to climb the single-season assist ladder. She finishes the year with 152, which ranks as the ninth-best single-season total in CU history and the third-best by a freshman.