Elise Williams (21) takes on the UVA defender in the second half. Williams led the team in points this afternoon, finishing with 26 points.
Elise Williams (21) takes on the UVA defender in the second half. Williams led the team in points this afternoon, finishing with 26 points.
Katie Romhilt

WBB bested by Virginia, 87-79

The Demon Deacons couldn’t catch up with the Cavaliers’ explosive three point shooting

Wake Forest (4-20, 0-12) came into the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Arena looking to put a rest to their 11-game losing streak, but was met with a high-scoring 87-79 loss at the hands of the Virginia Cavaliers (12-12, 4-9).

Virginia was hot off the trail of an away win at Boston College and subsequently managed to convert that momentum into a barrage of 3-pointers to ultimately take down the Demon Deacons.

The first quarter of play seemed like an omen for what was to come. Virginia opened up the scoring with a layup by guard Olivia McGhee (22pts, 9-15 FG) and went on to drain four 3-pointers in the first quarter alone on 4-6 3FG shooting. 

Barring a few driving layups by guards Elise Williams (26pts, 7reb) and Kaia Harrison (7pts, 6reb), and a lone three by freshman Kate Deeble (17pts, 3-4 3PT), Virginia would keep the Demon Deacons relatively quiet while building a lead. The first quarter ended with the Cavaliers up 11.

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In the second quarter, the spotlight quickly went to Alexandria Scruggs (6pts, 4reb), who made two consecutive driving layups to put the Demon Deacons on a 6-0 run.

Soon after, guard Madisyn Jordan (5pts, 2-7 FG) drained her first 3-pointer of the game, followed up by another layup from Williams. The game was tied up at 22, as the Demon Deacons went on an impressive 11-0 run.

On the precipice of securing their first lead of the game, Wake Forest’s momentum came to a screeching halt as Virginia’s guard Kymora Johnson (23pts, 8-13 FG) sunk a deep three and McGhee immediately followed up with a spin move in the paint to jump five ahead.

After some free throws, the Demon Deacons seemed to be closing in once again with the score at 27-25, but two back-to-back 3-pointers would extend their lead to eight. For the rest of the second quarter, Virginia remained a step ahead, with the first half ending at 38-32. 

The third quarter started bleak for Wake Forest, who continued to fall downhill. The Demon Deacons struggled with repeated turnovers and fouls, and Virginia had no hesitation in taking advantage — pushing the score to a 13-point lead. Virginia’s lead would remain for the remainder of the third quarter.

Elise Williams (21) takes on the UVA defender in the second half. Williams led the team in points this afternoon, finishing with 26 points. ( Katie Romhilt)

Despite the deficit, Wake Forest’s hustle did not let up. Theuerkauf opened the fourth quarter with a blazing breakaway layup, and forward Malaya Cowles (5pts, 4reb) would follow up with an and-one layup to secure some quick points.

Theuerkauf, under double coverage in the paint, put up another dazzling and-one, raising the crowd at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Scruggs used her physicality to draw contact several times, and crucial turnovers gave the team hope with five minutes to go. The score sat at 70-60.

Once again showing her importance to this team in the second half, Theuerkauf knocked down a three and brought the game to 70-63. With five minutes remaining, there were finally signs of life.

However, the game seemed all but sealed after a clumsy possession led to several missed opportunities to score from Deeble, Williams and Theuerkauf. Deeble missed a three, to which Williams picked up the offensive rebound. She missed the putback, and it was offensively rebounded once again by Cowles. She dished it out to a wide open Theuerkauf beyond the arc, but there was a lid on the rim as she missed the shot.

Williams and Deeble would each get another 3-pointer, but Virginia’s lead was built tall enough that it wouldn’t matter, winning 87-79.

The Demon Deacons play against the Florida State Seminoles at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. on ACCNX.

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