WBB ends nine-game losing streak

The Demon Deacons fought off a third-quarter comeback attempt by Virginia


Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

The Demon Deacons celebrate breaking their nine-game losing streak while in their pink “Play4Kay” jerseys. They face off next against N.C. State.

Essex Thayer, Sports Editor

Following a 78-87 loss at Clemson on Feb. 10 that extended the Wake Forest women’s basketball team’s losing streak to nine, the Demon Deacons ended the streak with a 68-53 victory at home three days later against Virginia.

“It feels great to get back to our winning ways,” said Head Coach Jen Hoover. “It is never easy to win in this league, and I am proud of the way the team played today.”

As per usual, Wake Forest was led by sophomore guard Jewel Spear, who scored 17 points. Junior forward Olivia Summiel and junior forward Niyah Becker added 14 and 11 points respectively.

Following a bucket from senior forward Christina Morra, two scores from Summiel allowed the Demon Deacons to open the game with an early 6-2 lead. The offense on the inside allowed Wake Forest to then attack from behind the three-point line. Their next two made shots came from behind that line, opening the Deacons’ lead to six.

By the end of the quarter, Wake Forest had extended their lead to nine. The Demon Deacons shot well in the quarter (67%), while Spear went a perfect 3-of-3 from the field. Wake Forest also held a 10-7 rebounding advantage.

In the second quarter, the Demon Deacons got a boost off the bench from junior guard Alexandria Scruggs, who hit two shots to give Wake Forest a 27-19 lead with five minutes remaining in the half. 

Minutes later, Summiel hit double-digits, reaching at least 10 points for the fourth time in the last six games. At the 2:51 mark, Spear hit another jumper to maintain a comfortable eight-point advantage for the Deacons. That lead continued to the end of the half, as Wake Forest entered the locker room with a seven-point lead.

“I am proud of how we continue to have double-figure scorers step up,” Hoover said after the game. “It makes us a lot harder to defend when multiple players are scoring the basketball. We did a fantastic job sharing the ball. We will use this as momentum heading into this week and continue to try and build on this.”

At the beginning of the third quarter, Virginia began to cut into the slim Wake Forest lead. Two consecutive baskets brought the Cavaliers within three points. Three minutes later, Virginia took their first lead of the game until a two-pointer by Morra evened the game. Then, on the following possession, Morra put Wake Forest back in the lead. The Demon Deacons took that three-point lead into the fourth quarter.

After handling the pressure from Virginia in the third quarter, Wake Forest dominated for the remainder of the game. Scores from Summiel, Scruggs and Spear gave the Demon Deacons their largest lead of the game. From there, Wake Forest iced away the rest of the clock from the free-throw line, allowing them to secure the victory.

The victory sends Wake Forest over the .500 mark at 13-12 overall, while moving their ACC record to 3-11, good for No. 12 in the conference. While the victory ends the nine-game losing streak for the Demon Deacons, it came against the last ranked team in the ACC. Virginia has not won a single game in conference. 

Wake Forest faces a far tougher opponent on Thursday when they travel to one of the best teams in the nation, No. 5 NC State.