Women’s basketball drops its fourth and fifth straight

The Demon Deacons suffer losses against Florida State and Boston College


Lucius You

Kaia Harrison shoots into traffic against Boston College.

Ian Steffensen, Sports Editor

Wake Forest women’s basketball closed out the regular season by facing off against ACC foes No. 23 Florida State and Boston College at home. The Demon Deacons nearly grabbed their first-ranked win of the season Thursday night, falling by just one point to the Seminoles. Then on Sunday, Wake Forest lost to the Eagles to bring its losing streak to five. 

Niyah Becker shoots a layup against Florida State. (Isabella Parolini)

On Thursday night, the Demon Deacons were looking to find momentum against the Seminoles as the postseason inches closer. Florida State got off to a quick start, going on a 5-0 run before senior Olivia Summiel nailed a deep 2-pointer to get Wake Forest on the board. On the next possession, junior Demeara Hinds grabbed the offensive rebound and finished strong at the rim to cut the deficit to just two. The Demon Deacons were able to capitalize on the break this time around, and back-to-back layups from senior Alexandra Scruggs tied the contest at eight. The two sides continued to trade baskets, but junior Jewel Spear got going with a nice floater to take the lead. However, after one quarter of play, Wake Forest trailed 14-15. 

The Seminoles quickly capitalized on the fast break to extend their lead to three in the opening minute of the second quarter. The Demon Deacons have found themselves on the wrong end of scoring runs this season, but they were able to flip the script by going on an 8-0 run. Sophomore Elise Williams nailed back-to-back 3-pointers during the run. Florida State wouldn’t go away though and quickly regained the lead until sophomore Raegyn Conley hit a triple from the left sideline to put Wake Forest up 28-27. The Demon Deacons continued to stay in it with senior Niyah Becker hitting a reverse layup to maintain the lead. The Seminoles quickly scored on the other end and held the lead 31-30 going into the locker room. 

Florida State opened the second half with an 8-0 run, capitalizing off Wake Forest’s lackadaisical turnovers and weak interior defense. Spear ended the run with a triple from the corner to cut the deficit to six. Becker cut the deficit to four, finishing hard at the basket and converting on the and-one opportunity. The Seminoles continued to attack the paint as the sides traded baskets. Going into the final frame the Demon Deacons trailed 42-47. 

Williams opened the scoring in the fourth with a nice floater, with this basket she completed her first career double-double. On the next possession, Williams made a nice move to the basket, euro-stepping her defender and finishing at the rim to cut the deficit to four with seven minutes remaining. Williams caught fire and hit a pull-up triple off the fastbreak to cut the deficit to two with four minutes remaining. Becker continued to attack the paint and finished off a nice reverse layup to move into double digits. Becker hauled in yet another offensive rebound and finished the putback, to net 12 points on the night. With 30 seconds remaining, the Demon Deacons trailed 61-58. Becker hit Summiel for a wide-open three, but she couldn’t capitalize. However a loose ball foul on Florida State sent Spear to the line for two. Trailing by one, the Demon Deacons defense held strong and had three seconds left to win the game. Off the inbound, Williams was tied up and kicked it out to senior Kaia Harrison for the wide-open three and the win, but she came up just short. 

“We were right there. This is the most heart we have played with all year,” said Head Coach Megan Gebbia. “They gave us absolutely everything, but this has to be a part of the process to take the next step as a team. That effort can take us a long way especially at this time of the year.” 

On Senior Day, Wake Forest looked to close its season with a win over Boston College. The Demon Deacons scored on their first possession, with Harrison driving to the basket and finding Becker who finished strong at the rim. Senior Mack Maier was left wide open in the corner and nailed the three ball, for just her second basket of the season. Becker continued her momentum, driving hard to the basket on the fast break and finishing the layup to give the Demon Deacons a 7-3 lead. With time winding down on the shot clock, Spear knocked down a stepback three to extend the lead to seven. The Eagles were able to capitalize on Wake Forest’s weak interior defense and find wide open gaps to stay in the game. Harrison caught fire, nailing a deep triple and then scoring off a fadeaway jumper on the next possession to stretch the lead to 11. Spear hit a pull-up three off a fast break to maintain the lead. At the end of one, the Demon Deacons led 26-13. 

Jewel Spear takes a ball into the paint against Boston College. (Lucius You)

Boston College opened the second quarter with a 13-0 run. The Eagles were able to easily attack the paint and drew level with the Demon Deacons halfway through the quarter. Sophomore Alyssa Andrews ended the run with a contested jumper. Spear hit another triple to give Wake Forest a 32-30 lead. The Eagles nailed a triple and led 33-32 going into the locker room. 

With the shot clock winding down, Williams got her first points on the board with a stepback jumper to retake the lead. Boston College was able to finish strong at the rim, and convert on and-one opportunities to stay in it. Spear knocked down another triple off the fastbreak to give Wake Forest a two-point lead. The two sides traded baskets throughout the remainder of the third quarter. Entering the final frame, the Demon Deacons trailed 51-49.

Spear found Hinds on a nice backdoor cut to the basket, to trail only 52-53 in the opening minutes of the fourth. On the next possession, Scruggs came up big defensively, stealing the ball and Williams converted the jumper on the other end in transition to give Wake Forest a 54-53 lead. Back-to-back and-one finishes from the Eagles created some separation as they now led by four halfway through the final frame. Spear finished a nice layup to bring Wake Forest within three (61-58) with three minutes remaining. However, the Eagles continued to capitalize off second-chance points and go on a 7-0 run in the paint. Trailing by 10, Williams crossed up her defender and nailed the stepback triple to trail by seven. As time continued to tick down, Boston College was able to keep Wake Forest at bay and won the contest 73-63. 

“This is a tough one for me,” added Gebbia. “The good thing for us is we go into a whole new season with the postseason starting on Wednesday. I still believe in this group, and I know we are capable of taking it to another level. We need to come together as a team and find a way to fix some of these issues.”

The Demon Deacons will open the postseason Wednesday facing off against the Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the ACC Tournament at 1:30 p.m.