WNIT run ends in the second round

After defeating Morgan State, women’s basketball fell to the Florida Gators


Courtesy of WFU Athletics

Jewel Spear, who scored 25 points in Monday’s loss to Florida, takes the ball into the paint.

Ian Steffensen, Sports Editor

Postseason play continued for Wake Forest women’s basketball as they faced off against the Morgan State Bears and Florida Gators in the opening rounds of the WNIT.  The Demon Deacons came out firing against the Bears with a great all around team effort to win 75-49, but their season came to an end with an 80-63 defeat at the hands of the Gators. 

“It was not our best, definitely not our best,” Head Coach Megan Gebbia said of the game against Florida. “It’s frustrating that the last game of the year is a game in which it felt like a combination of everything we’ve worked on didn’t happen. And as a coach, I take that responsibility that I felt like I didn’t have them ready for this game, and that’s disappointing.”

On Thursday night, the Demon Deacons were firing on all cylinders against Morgan State. Wake Forest shot a season-best 50.9% from the field and controlled the pace of play in their dominant 26-point victory. The Bears were competitive for most of the contest, but the Demon Deacons came alive in the third quarter with a 14-2 run. The keys to success in the win were Wake Forest’s control of the boards, as the team outrebounded Morgan State 34-21 and capitalized with 18 second-chance baskets. The Demon Deacons continually attacked the paint, scoring 38 of their points inside. Junior Jewel Spear led in scoring with 20 points for the 11th time this season. Following this outing, Spear moved inside the top 10 in school history for career points. Junior Demeara Hinds put together an all around performance scoring 16 points and finishing with 12 rebounds, seven of which were offensive. With the victory, Gebbia captured her 17th win in her first year as head coach, which tied her for most wins by a first-year head coach in program history.

On Monday night, Wake Forest couldn’t get anything going offensively, and despite a late third-quarter surge, the season ended with a 80-63 loss to Florida. Spear once again led the team in points with 25. She will go into her senior year needing just 416 points to break the school scoring record. The Gators opened the contest with a 7-0 run before the Demon Deacons scored six unanswered to pull closer. After one quarter, Wake Forest led 15-11. The second quarter was essentially a 3-point contest as all nine made field goals from both teams came from behind the arc. Yet, the Gators made more of their shots and led by eight at the break. Florida increased their lead to 12 to start the third quarter, but an 8-0 from Spear kept Wake Forest in it as she cut the deficit to just four. The Gators continued to pile it on in the final frame and ran away with the dominant 80-63 victory. 

“I love that they never gave up the entire way,” Gebbia added. “They did what they are capable of doing, and they played hard the entire game.”