The Wake Forest Women’s record season came to end on Sunday when they fell in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament 61-84 to the Oklahoma State Cowgirls.
Everything was even after the first quarter, but a 19-5 run in the second quarter gave the Cowgirls a double digit lead that they held onto for the remainder of the game. Oklahoma State finished the game shooting 53% from the floor and dished out 21 assists on 35 made baskets over the course of the game—that is tough to beat. The Deacs had no answer for Third Team All-American Natasha Mack, who was by far the most talented player on the court. Mack finished the game with 27 points on 13-22 shooting, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks, grabbing her 18th double-double of the season. The 6-4 senior is the projected 5th overall pick in the 2021 WNBA draft, and she was definitely as good as advertised.
For the Deacs, junior Christina Morra led the way with 18 points on 8-14 shooting. Senior Gina Conti had an off day scoring, but made up for it by dishing out 9 assists to go with her 10 points; her 494 career assists move her into second all time in program history. Senior Ivana Raca finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds—her 9th double-double of the season. It is going to be nearly impossible to replace what Conti and Raca have brought to this program over the past four year should they decide to continue their playing careers professionally.
Obviously, this is not the way anyone wanted to end the season, but making the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history is an incredible accomplishment and it should be treated as such. Hopefully, Jen Hoover and the rest of the staff will be able to use this as a spring board for the program, and making the tournament will become a more regular event for Wake Forest. Congrats to the team on a great season and Go Deacs!