McALESTER — McAlester’s guards chased Durant’s up and down the court on defense, and they made two key offensive plays late in the game to give the Lady Buffaloes the win.
Lady Buffs guard Vhitney Garner’s offensive rebound eventually led to Shattee Robinson’s game-winning free throw, then fellow guard Taylor Compton turned a steal into an insurance point to help the Lady Buffs beat the Lady Lions 36-34 on Tuesday at Bob Brumley Gymnasium.
“The guards did a really good job of sparking us in the first half,” Lady Buffs coach April Burns said. “When we started with our bigs, we just weren’t getting anything going defensively. We had four different guards come in off the bench and they gave us a huge spark, so that’s really good. Our defense is definitely the thing that charged our offense tonight.”
Durant led 34-32 with about three minutes left in the game, but McAlester answered three possessions later, with Baylee Dawkins finding April Calistro for a game-tying jump shot with 2:23 left. Lady Lions coach Casey Strahan called a timeout, but McAlester’s defense held, its guards playing Durant’s too tight for the Lady Lions to inbound the ball.
“They had good guards,” McAlester guard Maddie McGowan said.
“You just had to turn them. There was really no key — just play defense and try to get that trap up top that really helped us in the second quarter.”
Durant eventually stepped on the sideline before the throwing the ball in, resulting in a turnover. Robinson then went to the foul line and missed the first shot of a 1-and-1, but Durant couldn’t grab the rebound and the ball stayed with McAlester.
The Lady Lions eventually came away with a steal, but Robinson beat the fastbreak down the court and drew a charge on the opposite end. Garner went to the foul line with 43.2 seconds left, but she missed as well, continuing a night in which the Lady Buffs shot just 4-for-11 from the charity stripe.