Hanley's NCAA stay is short

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Bullitt East graduate Whitney Hanley and her Austin Peay teammates had a tough time on Sunday in the first round of the Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament as they fell to number one seed Duke 83-42.

The loss ended a magical run for the Lady Governor’s after they won three straight games in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in Nashville ten days earlier.

Austin Peay finished the season with a 17-16 mark.

Hanley, who moved into the starting line-up midway through this season, got the start again on Sunday in the game played in East Lansing, Michigan. It wasn’t one of the freshman’s better games as she played 26 minutes, but scored just two points. She did pull down four rebounds and handed out an assist.

In the game, Austin Peay shot just 24 percent from the field and just 17.6 percent from beyond the arc. Duke, on the other hand, hit on 49 percent of their shots including making 5 of 13 from long range.

This was the first trip to the big show for Austin Peay since 2004. A year ago, the program won just six games and did not even qualify for the OVC tournament.

Coach Carrie Daniels’ team will lose just one senior, April Thomas, and the roster also had just one junior, Nicole Jamen. So, Hanley and her team should be much stronger next season.

“With one senior, I think it’s an incredible learning experience for our entire team and every player that is returning,” Daniels said in a news release. “Hopefully, the one message I sent to them is that it’s time to go to work and it starts now.

“If they want to be here this time next year, they’re going to have to get in the weight room, hit the courts and get shots up and get stronger, faster and quicker,” the coach added. “They need to go to work for next year so that we prepare ourselves throughout our season and work to gain another OVC Tournament Championship and set the stage for another run. We need to be more prepared coming into another first round game in the NCAA Tournament, hopefully.”