The Lady Lions lost another frustrating contest on Tuesday, missing free throws, close-range shots and getting out-hustled in a 57-51 decision in favor of McAlester.
Durant could not contain the dangerous tandem of Kaleisha Johnson and Meredith Saunier, who combined for 46 points.
Coach Chad Rumer blamed first-half turnovers for allowing the Lady Buffs to build a comfortable lead.
“In the first half we turned the ball over 13 times, and in the second half only five,” he said. “We missed seven wide open shots within five feet of the bucket.”
Combined with 10-for-23 free throw shooting, Rumer counted up more than two dozen points which the team “just gave away.”
“If we could put fourth quarters together, we’d be alright,” he said. “If we don’t, we’re not going to win.”
Durant fell behind 10-4 before Rylie Richards and Katie Caraway scored to close the gap. But the Lady Buffs ended the first quarter on a 7-2 streak and led 17-10.
The Lady Lions had trouble cutting into McAlester’s five point lead until a layup for Morgan Steve and a three-pointer from Alexa Richards got them within a point. But again, the Lady Buffs answered with a five-point run to end the half leading 28-22.
Shelbi Barrett started the third quarter with a three-pointer to get within three points. McAlester built back up until Rheagan Jones scored four straight to get within 39-35. That’s when the open shots quit falling.
Steve collected a pair of blocks early in the fourth, but the Lady Lions went cold offensively. Durant fell behind by 10 midway through the fourth. Late steals led to some open buckets and the Lady Lions got within six points before Johnson pushed the lead higher on a steal and breakaway layup in the final two minutes.
Scorers for the Lady Lions: Alexa Richards (11), Katie Caraway (8), Morgan Steve (8), Rheagan Jones (7), Kenzie Clapp (6), Rylie Richards (6), Shelbi Barrett (5).
The Lady Lions (1-2) will host Westmoore at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Lion Classic.