The Wake Forest Women’s Basketball team battled the ACC’s best team well into the 4th quarter, but ultimately were defeated by the #5 Louisville Cardinals, 53-65 in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. The Deacs finish the season 12-12 overall, and now must anxiously await Selection Sunday to see if they will make it into the NCAA Tournament.
The final score in this one was not indicative of the game at large, as the game was knotted up 44-44 heading into the final quarter. The Deacs did a fantastic job throughout the game defending ACC Player of the Year Dana Evans and held her to 8 points on 3-15 shooting. In the 4th quarter, however, Evans took over as a facilitator, dishing out 4 of her 7 assists and helping the Cardinals outscore the Deacs 21-9 in final 10 minutes. The fresh legs of Louisville proved to be the difference maker as the Cardinals went on a 13-0 run in the final minutes of the game to put it out of reach for the Deacs.
The Deacs were led by senior Ivana Raca, who finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Christina Morra added 11 points on 5-7 shooting and Jewel Spear added 12 points. The effects of playing their second game in two days showed up as Wake Forest shot just 3-18 (17%) from beyond the arc in this game and hit the front of the rim about a billion times.
The Cardinals got a huge game from freshman guard Hailey Van Lith, who finished with 24 points on 9-15 shooting, including 6-10 from beyond the arc. She was the only Louisville player to score in double digits. The depth of the Cardinals was a huge advantage; Louisville had 10 players score and racked up 20 assists on 28 made field goals.
The Deacs showed incredible fight throughout the game, but came up just short against the top 5 Cardinals for the second time this season—Hopefully that is enough to get Wake into the big dance. The good news is that in his latest bracketology from this morning, Charlie Creme had the Deacs as one of the last four teams to get into the tournament. Unless there are numerous upsets in the other tournaments, that should be a good sign for the Deacs. All we can do now is wait.