But size didn’t stop Burk from having one of her biggest games Monday at home against longtime rival Piedmont.
Burk capped a 24-point, 4-assist performance with a rebound and putback at the buzzer, lifting the Lady Warriors to a thrilling 48-47 victory that improved their record to 4-1.
“We drew up the play to try and get it in to Tori (Davis), but they did a good job guarding in the lane,” Burk said. “We just had to try and throw up a shot, and I was just in the right place at the right time.
“I knew when Chelsea (Ray) took the shot, there was about six or seven seconds left, and I thought I would have time to put it back up. You can’t be nervous in that situation. You just have to relax, do the best you can and whatever happens, happens.”
Burk’s shot clanked around the rim before finally falling through. Barnes said it “seemed like five seconds for that ball to go down.”
“I think I might have been at the free-throw line when it actually went in the basket,” Barnes joked. “When she threw it up, I thought it was going to be an air ball, but it hit the rim and just bounced in.
“With the game Jessen had, it was kind of fitting for her to make that shot.”
Piedmont (3-1) had built an 8-point cushion at 44-36 with just under 4:30 left in game off a 3-pointer at the top of the key by senior forward Sarah Garner, but the Lady Warriors battled back. They outscored Piedmont 12-3 down the stretch, capped by Burk’s buzzer-beater.
“Right there at the end, we don’t block out and gave them a second shot opportunity,” Piedmont coach Matt Deerman said. “She followed her shot, got the rebound and put it back in. That’s fundamental basketball. You can’t let that happen.”
Piedmont held the lead at the end of the first three quarters – 9-7 after one, 20-16 at halftime, and 33-30 heading into the fourth.
The Lady Warrior rally spoiled a 28-point performance from Piedmont senior center BreAnna Thompson. Garner also had a solid outing, finishing with 13 points.
No other Piedmont player scored more than three points.
“We can’t rely on post play all year long,” Deerman said. “We’ve got to have somebody step up at the guard position and get some points to take some pressure off those two (Thompson and Garner).”
Defensively, Piedmont held Davis to seven points and seven rebounds, but defending Burk was a different story.
“We focused our defense around her (Davis), but all three of their guards can score,” Deerman said. “I thought we had one of our better defenders on her the whole game, but she just wasn’t missing tonight. She had an outstanding night. We’ve got to put more pressure on her and not give her so many open looks.”
Madison Brannon added six points and five boards for the Lady Warriors. Ray finished with five points. Darbie Rosser contributed four points, three rebounds and three steals.
“We did a good job of coming back at the end,” Burk said. “We just kept fighting and didn’t give up.”