Despite Spear’s career performance, women’s basketball falls at No. 10 Virginia Tech

Spear recorded 27 points in the loss


Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Jewel Spear sets up a shot from beyond the three-point arc.

Ian Steffensen, Sports Editor

Wake Forest women’s basketball looked to redeem itself from back-to-back losses when they faced off against fellow ACC foe and No.10-ranked Virginia Tech away from home. Junior guard Jewel Spear put together a sensational performance, scoring an ACC-best 27 points, and the team followed suit rallying from 17 points down at one point, but sadly the Demon Deacons fell to the Hokies, 74-57.

“I am happy with the way this team fought, and we are close to getting over the hump,” head coach Megan Gebbia said. 

Coming off a week-long break, Wake Forest looked to get off to a quick start in the first quarter. The size and strength of Virginia Tech center Elizabeth Kitley allowed the Hokies to attack the paint and jump out to an early 4-0 lead. The Demon Deacons would answer back though, with Spear banking in a deep 3-pointer from the right wing to give Wake Forest the lead. On the next possession, junior Demeara Hinds found sophomore Elise Williams cutting to the basket to make the easy layup and convert the and-one to improve their scoring run to 8-0. The Hokies wouldn’t go away easily, grabbing back-to-back offensive rebounds with Kitley finishing off the second chance score with an and-one. Kitley continued to cause problems for the defense, backing down on defenders and using her height to hit fadeaway jumpers and control the lead for Virginia Tech. After one quarter of play, the Demon Deacons were not out of it yet, trailing 14-10.

Spear got the Wake Forest offense going in the second quarter, hitting a triple from the left wing after creating space for herself. The Hokies then went on a 9-0 scoring run, capitalizing on the Demon Deacons’ weak interior and perimeter defense. Senior Kaia Harrison grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled hard on her way up but made the basket and converted on the and-one. Wake Forest trailed 35-20 going into the locker room. 

The Demon Deacon offense came out firing in the second half, as they netted 10 points on their first four possessions. The Hokies continued to keep their opponent at bay and maintained their lead throughout the third quarter. Wake Forest capitalized off a technical call on Virginia Tech, Spear hit the two free throws, then hit a triple off a screen to cap off the five-point possession. Spear caught fire in the third quarter, going five for five from the field netting a total of 18 points, including three triples. The Demon Deacons’ amazing third quarter run allowed them to cut the lead to three going into the final quarter of play, looking to upset the No.10 team in the country. 

However, that was the closest Wake Forest would come to, as it was all Virginia Tech in the final frame. The Hokies extended their offensive possessions with countless plays on the boards and continued to attack the paint for easy buckets. The Demon Deacons dropped their third contest in a row, with a final score of 74-57. 

“We were right where we wanted to be going into the fourth quarter,” Gebbia said. “We need to learn from this in terms of how to take it to the next level in the final 10 minutes. We had some mental errors down the stretch, and we just needed to make more plays than them in the fourth.”

Wake Forest will make their return home facing off against Louisville at 6 p.m. on Thursday. The Demon Deacons will be looking to bounce back and regain their momentum as they finish out the season.