"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

Women’s basketball falls just short of a comeback against Charlotte

Wake Forest falls short after rallying from a 14-point deficit
Kaia Harrison tries to drive to the basket past two reaching Charlotte defenders. The graduate guard finished the night with 11 points, four assists and four steals. (Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)

Wake Forest women’s basketball lost 69-58 to the Charlotte 49ers at home on Thursday, Dec. 7. 

It was a disappointing loss for the Demon Deacons (2-7) as they rallied back after playing from behind for most of the game and were tied with Charlotte (6-4) for much of the fourth quarter. Wake Forest showed their resilience as they found scattered scoring opportunities, despite what the numbers say. 

Wake Forest was stifled by a solid defensive effort from Charlotte in the first quarter, as the 49ers recorded two blocks and held Wake Forest to nearly a three-minute scoring drought. Still, Wake Forest managed to outscore Charlotte in the first quarter, sinking three of its seven shots from beyond the arc. 

The second quarter was rough for the home team after the Demons Deacons turned the ball over three times in four minutes and were held to another lengthy scoring drought — this time more than four minutes long. Even though Charlotte went on a 14-2 run later in the quarter, Wake Forest was still only down by five at the half after shooting just 38% from the field. The Demon Deacons have shot below 40% through the first eight games of the season. 

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The half opened with a barrage of scoring from Charlotte, including back-to-back 3-pointers in 14 seconds that put the 49ers up by 14. Charlotte shot 40% from 3-point range during the game through the start of the third quarter while Wake Forest shot below 20%. 

Head Coach Megan Gebbia noted that some of Wake Forest’s defensive struggles allowed Charlotte to keep scoring.

“Post defense could have been better, and we need to be better in some of our situational defense,” Gebbia said. “We were reactionary defensively, and we needed to play hard without fouling.” 

Wake Forest looked down, but they certainly weren’t. The offense erupted for a 9-0 scoring run, with sophomore guard Malaya Cowles and junior guard Elise Williams each reaching the double-digit scoring mark. At one point, Wake Forest was shooting 60% from the field in the second half. The late offensive production helped bring the game within two points before tying it 47-47 with just a second left in the third quarter. 

“What I am proud of is that we didn’t hang our heads,” said Gebbia as she commended the Demon Deacons for their effort. “Even when we were down 14 in the second half, we had so much fight.”

The resurgence proved futile, however, as Wake Forest was eventually buried by a 9-1, fourth-quarter scoring run from Charlotte that effectively ended the game. 

Aside from her comments about the defense, Gebbia did not cite any areas to improve the offense overall despite a standout performance on Thursday. The Demon Deacons still remain at the very bottom of the conference two games behind Pittsburgh, and they’re averaging 15 fewer points per game than the median ACC team. Wake Forest is also the only team in the conference with a negative point margin. 

“We need to put some of the positives on offense and defense together starting on Sunday,” said Gebbia, looking ahead to this weekend’s matchup against Norfolk State at home. “The breakthrough is on the other side, and it sucks and hurts that we are going through this, but I have faith in this group.”

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About the Contributor
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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