"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Wake Forest Women’s Basketball sputters against NC A&T

The cross-Triad clash saw Wake Forest’s lowest score and poorest shooting of the season so far
Senior guard Elise Williams drives to the basket against NC A&T. Williams finished the game with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. (Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)

Wake Forest women’s basketball Head Coach Megan Gebbia wasted no time characterizing her team’s play after their disappointing loss to the North Carolina A&T Aggies on Wednesday night. 

“[It was] the worst I’ve seen us play,” Gebbia said. 

Wake Forest was plagued by offensive woes and a solid defensive effort from NC A&T. The Demon Deacons struggled to compete in the paint, forcing the offense to unsuccessfully scheme from beyond the arc on most possessions. 

Wake Forest was dominated down low, only managing to score 24% of their total points in the paint. The Demon Deacons also recorded 15 rebounds fewer than their average this season and were outrebounded by 17, overall.

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 “We need to rebound the ball better. …We have to do a better job on the glass,” Gebbia said. 

The Demon Deacons looked to be without a gameplan. Wake Forest shot only 3 of 11 from range in the first half, often making risky cross-court passes and seldom set picks on the line to create shot opportunities. 

“We played like individuals,” Gebbia said. “I’ve gotta figure out a way to get them to play together so that we’re executing better on the offensive end.”

The Demon Deacons began a bizarre third quarter only down two points, but those 10 minutes were a microcosm of Wake Forest’s struggles. The Demon Deacons opened the half by bleeding nine straight points to A&T, were outrebounded 13-8 and shot just 21% from the field. All nine of Wake Forest’s third-quarter points came from beyond the arc. 

I think we have a lot of people in different roles this year, so they’re trying to figure out how they involve themselves in that new role they’re in, and that takes time.

— Megan Gebbia, Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Junior Alyssa Andrews eventually ended the initial scoring drought of the third period by knocking down a 3-pointer with under five minutes remaining. Andrews’ 12-point and five-rebound performance off the bench was a bright spot in a spotty night for Wake Forest women’s basketball. 

“Whether [Andrews] starts or she comes off the bench, it never affects how she plays,” Gebbia said. 

Also providing promise despite the loss were Wake Forest’s three freshmen. Together, they combined for 16 points, five rebounds and four assists, with Rylie Theuerkauf and Kate Deeble each playing upwards of 20 minutes. 

“[The freshmen] bring energy,” Gebbia said. “They’re very competitive, they want to win.” 

At the start of the fourth quarter, A&T appeared vulnerable enough to let their lead slip. A series of turnovers and a shot clock violation gave the Demon Deacons multiple opportunities to come back, but they couldn’t capitalize. After the violation, Wake Forest proceeded to miss five field goals in a row, leaving some players visibly frustrated. 

Wake Forest eventually brought the game within one point with just over a minute left, but a critical foul on a 3-pointer attempt from A&T center Chaniya Clark panicked the Demon Deacons’ game management. Two more fouls by Wake Forest brought more shots for A&T, bringing the Aggie lead to a seemingly unreachable seven points with 20 seconds remaining. Wake Forest’s Madisyn Jordan went on to knock down one more corner 3-pointer with just 15 second left, but more foul shots and prolonged clock confusion slowed any momentum Wake Forest was developing. 

Gebbia believes it will take for the team to improve. When asked what she hopes to learn from Wake Forest’s road trip to the non-conference North Shore Showcase in Hawaii next week, Gebbia said that she wanted the team to play cohesively, but the development of players in their new roles will be a lengthy process. 

“I think we have a lot of people in different roles this year,” Gebbia said, “so they’re trying to figure out how they involve themselves in that new role they’re in, and that takes time.”

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About the Contributor
Andrew Braun
Andrew Braun, Sports Editor
Andrew is a freshman from Wrightsville Beach, N.C. intending to major in politics and international affairs and minor in journalism. Outside of the OGB, he is a member of a capella group Innuendo and Model United Nations. In his free time, you can find him playing bass and guitar, watching only the most obscure NBA matchups and paddle surfing at the beach.

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