Dawkins grabbed the offensive rebound off Garner’s miss, but Dawkins couldn’t score against taller, more physical Durant forwards like Makayla Patton, Summer Simeroth and Ciera Taylor. But Garner kept the possession alive with another offensive rebound, and Robinson eventually went back to the foul line with 36.7 seconds left in the game.
Robinson got her first free throw to drop in for a 35-34 lead.
“We were only getting one look in the first half,” Burns said. “We weren’t getting any offensive boards, so it was either a make and we run back, or it was a miss and we run back. So we really talked at halftime about getting some more offensive boards and getting second and third opportunities to score.”
Durant used another timeout, then Compton stole the inbounds pass at midcourt and went on the fastbreak. She drew a foul and sank one free throw for a 36-34 lead with 24.2 seconds left.
The Lady Lions had one last possession to win the game. The Lady Buffs twice failed to secure a defensive rebound after a miss, but when Durant guard Alexus Coxsey airballed the third shot of the possession, Dawkins grabbed the rebound to end the game.
“We got ourselves into a bind with foul trouble,” Strahan said. “There at the end, we weren’t able to come up with the plays we needed to come up with.”
Durant’s Rheagan Jones led all scorers with 13 points. Dawkins led the Lady Buffs with 10.
Dawkins jump shot early in the second half cut Durant’s lead to 1, then another put the Lady Buffs up 26-21. The team’s best rebounder Tuesday, Dawkins also put back an offensive rebound to give McAlester a 30-28 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“April (Calistro) was driving in and then kicking it out, getting double teams, so I was then getting open,” Dawkins said.