By THE HERALD-WHIG
LIBERTY, Mo. -- Make some room Libby Lewis and Danyelle Harrison. You've got company.
Kelly Buresh, a sophomore forward on the Quincy University women's basketball team, drained eight 3-pointers Thursday to help the Lady Hawks beat William Jewell 68-59 in Great Lakes Valley Conference action at the Mabee Center.
Buresh scored a career-high 28 points, topping her previous high of 23 points she set in QU's 84-37 win over Hannibal-LaGrange on Dec. 17. She made six threes in that game. Her eight treys Thursday ties the QU single-game record set by Harrison on Dec. 6, 1995, against Lincoln and matched by Lewis on Feb. 3, 2001, against Bellarmine.
"We had really nice drives and dishes to Kelly, drawing her defense in, taking it to the basket and then kicking to her," QU coach Jeni Garber told ESPN 1440. "She hit several of her threes that way. Our players know that when she's shooting well, keep feeding her the ball. And they were able to draw that defense and give it to her."
Buresh said she thought her defense probably played a hand in her shooting success. She was asked to guard WJC's top post player, Katlyn Wood.
"She's really good for them, and I think when I get locked in and have to guard a really tough opponent, it makes me want to focus overall offensively and defensively," Buresh said. "I like that, and I think that's when I play good games."
Quincy (12-8, 10-2) improved to 11-2 in its last 13 games. Maryville beat Missouri S&T 56-54 on Thursday, meaning the Lady Hawks hold a two-game lead over both of those teams for first place in the GLVC's West Division.
"That's awesome," Buresh said when told about S&T losing. "That's huge for us to have S&T lose. We have to win at Rockhurst (on Saturday) and finish this season off strong. We have a big target on our back now, so we can't let any game slide by."
Buresh drained her record-tying triple with 9 minutes, 18 seconds remaining in the second half when she took a pass from Felisha Loggins and swished a jumper from the left corner -- Buresh's favorite spot. It was the last 3-point attempt of the game for Buresh, who needed just 10 3-point attempts to tie the record.
Buresh, who made each of her first six field-goal attempts, drained her fourth 3-pointer of the game with 14:48 remaining in the first half. That put Quincy ahead 13-10, and the Lady Hawks never relinquished the lead. QU's lead swelled to 59-40 after Buresh's seventh 3-poiner with 12:50 to play before WJC (12-8, 6-6) rallied late.
Wood made a 3-pointer with 2:18 remaining to cut Quincy's lead to 66-59, but Loggins made a pair of free throws with 1:58 left to help seal the win.
Quincy shot 63.6 percent from the field in the first half and 50 percent overall. The Lady Hawks were also 10 of 16 (62.5 percent) from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the Cardinals shot 39.3 percent from the field, as QU improved to 12-0 in games in which it limits its opponent to under 42.5 percent shooting.
Buresh scored 18 of Quincy's first 22 points. She's shooting 42 percent from 3-point range for the season.
"In the first half, we didn't do a great job of finding (Buresh)," WJC coach Jill Cress told the WJC Sports Network. "She started off hot, and I called the one timeout and told them not to let her get another shot off, and then they run a play right off and we closed out slow, and she gets another three."
Chelsea Meeks fueled WJC with 19 points and four steals. She scored seven of the Cardinals' final 12 points.
Lucy Cramsey had 11 points and five assists for Quincy, and Loggins had nine points and seven rebounds.
QU atoned its 79-55 loss to WJC on Jan. 26 at Pepsi Arena. The Cardinals' full-court pressure gave Quincy trouble in that game, as the Lady Hawks tied a season high with 24 turnovers. That led to 24 points off of turnovers for WJC.
Although QU committed 22 turnovers this time around, most of the turnovers came in the half court, as WJC's pressure didn't bother the Lady Hawks as much. Quincy actually outscored WJC 23-16 in points off of turnovers.
"We stayed calm against their pressure," Buresh said. "It was definitely a great win."