The women's team hit a rough patch last week. In their version of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Lady Deacs go out to a hot start against Illinois at the Joel, leading 33-17 at the half behind a 25-2 run. The Illini shot 68% in the second half against the Deacs 17%. Wake fell 65-50 as Brittany Waters had 26 in the loss.
In their second tough game of the week, the Demon Deacons traveled to D.C. to take on Georgetown. Wake was plagued by turnovers—with 20 in the first half and 12 in the second half and ended up losing, 73-56. The Hoyas only shot 1-11 from deep, but the mistakes kept the Deacs out of the game. Wake has the week off for exams and will return to action at home against North Florida at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 14.
After traveling all the way across the country, the Demon Deacons came back with a ton of experience in hostile environments and a win against a ranked opponent. Wake took on Purdue in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and had a first half lead that led into a run at the start of the second half, but Wake was smothered by Purdue's defense, which forced 25 turnovers. The Demon Deacons held the Boilermakers to 34.4% shooting and 6.7% from the 3PT line, but Purdue got 12 more shots and hit 14 more FTs to make the difference. E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson combined for 43 points, while Ish Smith led the Deacs with 14.
Wake then headed to the west coast to take on Gonzaga on Saturday. The Bulldogs had only lost 3 games at the Kennel and has one of the best student sections in the country. Wake was shell-shocked early, but one critical play turned the tide for the Demon Deacons. Gonzaga freshman Elias Harris elbowed Chas McFarland in the throat at the same time that C.J. Harris was fouled on a three-pointer. Harris got 5 free throws, hitting 4, before Ari Stewart nailed a 3 for the unorthodox 7 point play.
After going up by one at the half, the Deacs came out hot in the second period behind freshmen C.J. Harris and Ari Stewart. Stewart drained 3s and Harris knocked down free throws. The Bulldogs made a big run near the end of the game, with hot shooting from Kong, but Wake edged out Gonzaga after fouling Matt Boldin with just over 5 seconds left when the Deacs were up 3. Bouldin hit the first free throw and intentionally missed the second, but had a lane violation. Wake also has the exam break and will come back to play Elon on Dec. 13 at the Joel.
After a 0-0 tie at the half, Wake came alive behind Zack Schilawski and Andy Lubahn to beat UCLA and advance to the College Cup. The Cup is sold out and the Deacs will be joined by two other ACC teams—UNC and Virginia, as well as the Akron Zips. Wake will be facing the Cavaliers on Friday. Schilawski's goal gave him 14 on the season and Austin da Luz picked up his 15th assist in the win.