“It just seemed like we really couldn’t get anything going,” Burns said. “When you’re having 34 turnovers in a game, you’re not going to win any ballgames.
Though Piggee scored just 8 points for the Lady Tigers, the center’s stout interior defense single-handedly shut down McAlester’s offense in the paint. Piggee clogged up the layup lanes and forced McAlester to instead settle for jump-shot after jump-shot, leading to numerous missed shots.
Never finding an offensive rhythm, the Lady Buffs made just 11 field goals all night, committing more turnovers than taking shots.
The Lady Tigers, meanwhile, converted 27 field goals, using turnovers and defensive rebounds to fuel their transition game. With Ardmore’s forwards dominating the defensive boards, guards like Zoe Booker were free to sprint down-court for fastbreak opportunities.
“When we can trust three kids to rebound the basketball, I think that you can usually have one leak out,” Kelly said. “And that really takes a rebounder or two away from the offensive rebounding aspect, so we’re really playing three-on-three.”
Coming off the bench, Booker scored 14 for the Lady Tigers, tying Christa Pickens for the team-high.
“We just kept our hands up, and that helped us steal the ball, play good defense,” Booker said.
The same speed that allowed Ardmore’s guards to beat McAlester’s up the floor enabled their full-court, high-pressure defense to completely fluster McAlester’s guard, forcing multiple turnovers on McAlester’s side of the court. Even when the Lady Tigers’ double-teams didn’t get steals, they still often forced the ball to go to a Lady Buff non-handler, which led to several traveling calls near the halfcourt line.
“This is actually a maturation of what we did Tuesday night at Durant,” Kelly said. “Even though we lost the game by 1, defensively we played really well with our full-court pressure.”