Women’s basketball falls to Georgia Tech on the road

The Demon Deacons are still in search of their first ACC road win


Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Jewel Spear sets up on offense against the Yellow Jackets Thursday night.

Ian Steffensen, Sports Editor

Wake Forest women’s basketball continued its search for traction and a better seed in their late-season matchup against conference opponent Georgia Tech. Despite a late fourth quarter push, the Demon Deacons were unable to pull even and dropped their second game in a row to the Yellow Jackets. Wake Forest split its regular season series with Georgia Tech and is still on the hunt for its first ACC road win of the year. 

“We had some uncharacteristic mistakes tonight, but I am proud that we kept playing to the final whistle,” head coach Megan Gebbia said. “We seemed a little out of sync, especially on the defensive end of the floor, and we just didn’t make enough plays to win in a tough road environment.”

Senior Olivia Summiel got the Demon Deacons offense started by knocking down a mid-range jumper over her defender. The Yellow Jackets responded quickly though, nailing a wide open three from the corner to take back the lead. On the next possession, sophomore guard Elise Williams buried a deep three from the top of the key. Williams got open and nailed another triple fading away from the basket to give Wake Forest an 8-6 lead. The Demon Deacons found their momentum halfway through the first quarter going on an 8-2 run to take an 18-10 lead. Georgia Tech narrowed the deficit to five, but a strong drive to the basket by senior Niyah Becker, who then converted the and-one opportunity, stretched Wake Forest’s lead to eight after one quarter of play. 

The two sides traded baskets in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but the Demon Deacons continued to leave the door open for a Yellow Jacket comeback. Wake Forest’s zone defense showed its cracks, always leaving an open three opportunity on the backside, and soon Georgia Tech began to capitalize, going on a 7-0 run. The Demon Deacons only led by three with about five minutes remaining in the half. Williams found junior Demeara Hinds who made a nice backdoor cut to the basket and finished with the easy layup to put an end to the Yellow Jackets run. Unfortunately, Georgia Tech responded on the other end, with Kara Dunn being left wide open under the basket and converting the and-one to tie it up. Junior Jewel Spear finally got going, driving to the basket and banking it in off the glass to give Wake Forest the lead. The Demon Deacons led 30-28 going into the locker room.

Wake Forest maintained some of its momentum from the first half as the sides traded baskets in the opening minutes. However, Georgia Tech’s ability to capitalize on the break gave it a four-point lead with five minutes remaining in the quarter. Spear immediately responded by hitting a 3-pointer from the left sideline to pull the Demon Deacons within one. The Yellow Jackets continued to attack the paint and went on a 7-3 run to close out the quarter. Going into the final frame, Wake Forest trailed 43-38. 

The Demon Deacons continued to fire on the offensive end, cutting to the basket and nailing their shots, but the Yellow Jackets continued to answer on the other end. Basketball is a game of runs, and Wake Forest often finds itself on the wrong end of one, as Georgia Tech went on a 9-2 scoring run to take a 12-point lead with five minutes remaining. The Yellow Jackets drove easily to the basket and converted countless layups during their run. With five minutes remaining in the contest, the Demon Deacons began to pick up the pace. Williams attacked the basket and helped Wake Forest go on a 10-2 scoring run to cut the deficit to just four with under a minute remaining. On the other end, Dunn drove hard to the basket and converted on the and-one to put the game out of reach. Georgia Tech made crucial free throws down the stretch and held on for the 63-55 victory. 

Williams led the team with 13 points, followed by Hinds and Spear who also reached double-digits with 12 and 11 points, respectively. 

Wake Forest plays its final road game of the season against Big Four rival No. 19 North Carolina at 4 p.m. on Sunday.