By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
BEAVER, Okla. - Ann Freeman cut between two Beaver defenders and lofted a short shot that went in with 6.7 seconds left to put the Texhoma Lady Red Devils up by two. Beaver got an open three-point attempt as the buzzer sounded, but Texhoma escaped Beaver with a 42-40 win.
"We've had close games all year long, but we've been on the losing side," Lady Red Devils coach Britton Gabriele said. "It felt good to be on the winning side of one of these close ones."
Beaver also had a short shot in the lane that bounced off the front of the rim just seconds before Freeman hit the game winner.
"You get yourself in a hole early and spend the rest of the game battling back," Lady Dusters coach Casey Jones said. "Defensively we're playing well. Our press is giving people problems. We just have to find away to get it in the hole."
Both teams struggled to do just that. Beaver was 16 of 49 from the field (33 percent), while Texhoma was 14 of 48 (29 percent).
"They did a good job helping from the weak side on our posts, and we didn't hit the shots when we kicked it back outside," Gabriele said.
But while Beaver also struggled at the line (3 of 9), Texhoma made 11 of 14 from the charity stripe.
In the first quarter Texhoma had taken the lead with a 9-2 run midway through the quarter. Beaver bounced back to score the final five to knot the game at 9 apiece at the end of the first period.
Texhoma went on another 9-0 run to take a 19-11 lead with five minutes left in the half. The Lady Red Devils maintained that seven-point lead through the rest of the half (25-17).
With Texhoma leading 28-21 with 6:03 left in the third, Beaver hit three 3-pointers by three different players as part of an 11-2 run that gave the Lady Dusters a 32-30 lead with 2:23 left.
The two teams headed into the final stanza tied at 34.
Beaver hit two more threes in the fourth to go up 40-39. But the Lady Dusters were held scoreless the final 4:34 and Texhoma scored just enough to take home a hard-fought road victory.
There were a couple of times they got four shots late in the fourth quarter," Jones said. "We just got to keep working. Everytime we step out we're going to be smaller. We've got to overcome that. We're not going to grow anymore in the next week or so."
Tabra Elliot led the Lady Red Devils with 15 points, including 6 of 6 shooting at the free throw line. Ann Freeman added 13 on 6 of 15 shooting from the field.
Jacinda Balderrama scored 15 on 6 of 18 shooting. Cassie Howell scored 10 and was 2 of 5 from 3-point range.
Texhoma (10-7) travels to Balko Tuesday. Beaver (6-9) will be at Hooker Tuesday.