Dawkins scored 9 for the Lady Buffs.
“We were just trying to get a good shot off,” Dawkins said.
“They were driving in, and when they’re driving in, they’re going to suck the defense in. So popping out, you’re going to be open.”
Broken Bow missed its next two shots — McAlester rebounded extremely well Friday, grabbing 24 defensive boards and allowing very few offensive rebounds — and after each miss April Calistro went 1-for-2 at the line to push the lead to 43-39. Terri Baker pulled the Lady Savages to within 2 on two free throws, but while Kamil Gill came away with a steal on McAlester’s next possession, Jade Mitchell was called for an offensive foul that gave the ball back to the Lady Buffs and sent Mitchell to the bench with five fouls.
Calistro went to the foul line and went 1-for-2. Baker scored again, but Calistro again went 1-for-2 to make it 45-43 with 9 seconds left.
The Lady Savages moved the ball across halfcourt, and Erica Baker got an open look at a 3-point shot.
Her shot spun for a full two seconds around the rim of the basket before eventually falling harmlessly to the side as the clock expired.
“Something we’ve been talking about is putting together four solid quarters,” Burns said. “Not three, not three-and-a-half, but four solid quarters. I think our girls’ defense tonight was incredible. Their team defense was incredible, and their blocking out was the best I’ve ever seen.”
Burns added, “We had four turnovers in the first half, which is the fewest we’ve ever had all season.”
McAlester led by as many as 9 during the first half, but Mitchell’s layup made it 24-21 McAlester one possession into the third quarter. Broken Bow stepped up its full-court pressure in the third, swarming McAlester’s guards and forcing the majority of the Lady Buffs’ turnovers in the game.