Even after she realized the record was within her reach, Bustle didn't focus on setting a new record.
"I really didn't think about it," she said. "I just shot like I always do, thinking, 'If it goes in, it goes in.'"
Bustle was 8-for-17 from 3-point range, tallying five of her 3-pointers in the second half as the Lady Patriots opened a 48-point lead.
With Lincoln holding such a lopsided advantage over Burgin, Lady Pat coach Don Story questioned whether he should keep Bustle in the game.
"I was wondering how long we should leave her in," he said. "We wanted her to get the record, but we didn't want Burgin to think we were running up the score."
One of Bustle's biggest supporters on the bench as she neared the record was Peek, now McWhorter, an assistant at LCHS, who set the record in a game with Casey County.
"She (McWhorter) was encouraging me to let Nikki stay in," Story said. "She wanted her to break her old record."
When Story did decide to pull Bustle from the game in the fourth quarter, the crowd applauded her effort with a standing ovation. It was then that Bustle wished she'd had one more shot.
"I knew it was time for me to leave, but I was thinking as I left, 'that next one's going in,'" said Bustle.
Story, too, applauded Bustle's shooting.
"I'm proud of her," he said. "She found her shot and she just got in a rhythm tonight."
As a team, Lincoln (19-5) was 13-for-29 from 3-point range, with four different players hitting from long range. Jessica Upchurch, who finished with 16 points, and reserve guard Shelby Smith both hit two 3-pointers and Savannah Lane had one trey.
Story said Lincoln's 3-point shooting took Burgin out of the game.
"When you're hitting, and we were hitting, it makes all the difference in the world. And, when you're hitting the 3's, it's big," he said. "It gives you so much energy and it kind of deflates the other team when you're hitting a lot of your shots, and, when it's the 3's that are falling, it deflates the other team even more."
The deflation of the visiting Bulldogs started early.
The Lady Patriots nailed five 3's in the first 4:08 of the game. Savannah Lane was the first to step behind the arc for a basket then Upchurch and Bustle drained two 3's each in a 16-0 run which opened up a 21-6 Lady Pat lead. Ten of Lincoln's 16 points in the run were scored off four Burgin turnovers.
Bustle was somewhat surprised by Lincoln's explosive start and eventual rout.
"We knew, if we came and played our game, that it could be (large margin), but they (Lady Bulldogs) beat us last year," Bustle said. "They only lost one player and we lost three, so we were a little worried about how we'd come out tonight."
"Fortunately, we played our game," she said.
The Lady Patriots went on to post a 30-14 lead after one and showed a 48-22 advantage at the half. Lincoln outscored Burgin 40-22 in the second half to earn the 44-point victory.
"We just executed very well offensively tonight and we played pretty good defense," said Story. "I'm real pleased with our overall game. We outrebounded them by 15 (37-22), had 18 assists and just had seven turnovers. Just about all phases of the game were good tonight."
Lincoln shot 50 percent overall from the field, making good on 34 of 68 shot attempts. Bustle and Upchurch were not the only Lady Pats in double figures in the win, with centers Keira Henderson and Kendra Brown scoring 13 points and 12 points, respectively, and Smith hitting for 10 points.
"That's very rare for girls' basketball, very rare," said Story of the five double-digit Lady Pats.
Lane had five of Lincoln's 18 assists while Upchurch and Alissa Patterson each had four and Kierra Ford had three.
Brown completed a double-double by leading Lincoln on the glass with 11 rebounds.
Burgin (11-9) shot 24 percent overall, going 10-for-42, with only three field goals made in the second half. The Lady Bulldogs beat Lincoln at the foul line, hitting 20 of 24 free throw attempts while Lincoln was just 7-for-7.
Bev Harris led Burgin with 21 points and was 9-for-12 at the line. Hannah Harley added 10 points and Alyson Burke, who is one of Burgin's scoring leaders, had nine points. Burke led Burgin in rebounds with six.
"Burgin can be dangerous," said Story. "If you let Harris and Burke control the game offensively, they can score a lot of points. Bev (Harris) got 48 points against Mercer. Those two can just about beat you if you're not careful, but I felt like our help defense was there to cut if off when they would drive tonight. They got to the foul line, but I was pleased with how we talked defensively."