By THE HERALD-WHIG
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The postgame celebration lasted a little longer than usual for the Quincy University women's basketball team Thursday night.
Considering the Lady Hawks beat Bellarmine -- one of the Great Lakes Valley Conference's heavy hitters -- 78-71 at Knights Hall, they earned the right to celebrate as much as they wished.
"It was all screaming and jumping and all smiles on everyone's faces, probably for a good 20 minutes," QU junior Hannah Weedman said.
Playing its first game since Dec. 17, QU (3-6, 1-0 GLVC) showed no signs of rust. The Lady Hawks led 15-9 with 12 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first half after Kelly Buresh drained a 3-pointer from the left corner off a feed from Lucy Cramsey.
Bellarmine (10-2, 0-1) tied the game at 39 with 17:38 remaining in the game on Therese Montano's layup, but the Lady Hawks responded with a 16-0 run. The run, which came with Cramsey on the bench with four fouls, started with a basket from Weedman in the paint and ended with a bucket in the paint from Buresh with 8:45 to play. QU scored 40 of its points in the paint.
"We wanted to establish the inside and work out," QU coach Jeni Garber said during a postgame interview with ESPN 1440. "We were able to do that."
Buresh led all players with 19 points and added four rebounds and four assists. Weedman, a transfer from Division I Evansville, posted career highs with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots. Felisha Loggins chipped in 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Cramsey scored 11 points.
Weedman's six blocks are the most for a Lady Hawk since Amber Dvorak blocked six shots against Northern Kentucky on Jan. 29, 2005. Weedman scored 12 of her points in the first half.
"I started out with a few buckets right from the beginning, and my teammates wanted to keep passing into me because that was what was working," Weedman said. "Then when they didn't for a little bit, everyone else started hitting. We just played to the open player, and it worked out for us."
QU played a 2-3 matchup zone for most of the second half but still managed to outrebound Bellarmine 45-44.
"We did a good job rebounding out of (the zone)," Garber said.
The Lady Hawks did an even better job at the free-throw line, where they were 22 of 26. They made 20 of their final 22 attempts in the second half.
"We finished it at the free-throw line, which was huge," said Garber, whose team plays 1 p.m. Saturday at McKendree.
Bellarmine entered the game on a nine-game winning streak and was coming off a 91-65 win over Alabama-Huntsville on Monday.
Thursday marked just the fourth time this season Bellarmine was limited to 71 points or fewer. The Knights made 27 of 74 field-goal attempts (36.5 percent), marking their third-worst shooting clip of the season. Bellarmine's shooting woes against QU included a 36.2 percent shooting clip on two-point field goals.
"I'm disappointed in our effort," Bellarmine coach Chancellor Dugan said during a postgame interview with WFIA 94.7 FM. "I'm disappointed that we didn't prepare the way we needed. We were flat.
"We weren't solid defensively. We weren't talking out there. ... (The poor shooting was a result of) a lack of concentration."
The Lady Hawks were picked No. 3 in the GLVC West Division in the preseason coaches poll but fell off the radar after a 72-66 loss to NAIA's Harris Stowe on Dec. 5. After upsetting Bellarmine, they won't be able to sneak up on anyone anymore.
"We're going to have a target on our back now," Weedman said.
And she's just fine with that.
"This is where we really just set the tone," Weedman said. "I know it's the first conference game of the season, but setting the tone is always big."