This was a really impressive win for the Deacs, as they were playing without three of their key players against a pretty solid Akron team. Without Jewel Spear, Olivia Summiel, and Alex Scruggs, the Deacs were missing almost 31 points and 13 rebounds per game from their roster. Spear is obviously the team’s number one option of offense and the conference’s leading scorer this season, so her absence left a fairly massive void on the offensive end.
That forced the Deacs to play young and rely heavily on the bench; to say the underclassmen stepped up would be an understatement. Freshman Alyssa Andrews had one of the best games of her Wake Forest career, scoring 18 points on 7-13 shooting including 3-4 from beyond the arc. Her 10 third quarter points helped the Deacs turn a 1-point halftime deficit into a 7-point lead. Freshman Raegyn Conley added 10 points on 4-6 shooting including 3-5 from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Elise Williams notched a career high 5 steals and sophomore Demeara Hinds dominated the paint with 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
As a team, Wake Forest held the Zips to 38% shooting from the floor and turned them over 19 times for 20 points off turnovers. The Deacs were able to hold the MAC player of the year Jordyn Dawson to 20 points on just 33% shooting from the field and forced her to turn the ball over 8 times. This one was just a total team effort as 8 of the 10 players that saw game action for Wake found their way into the scoring column.
This was a great team win for the Deacs and a great chance to get the younger players some invaluable experience in playing in the postseason. Wake will advance to the second round where they will take on a very good MTSU squad that finished the season 24-7 overall. The time and date of that game is yet to be decided. I know what you’re thinking, and, no, no school has ever won both the NIT and WNIT in the same year. Let’s be the first. Go Deacs!