APSU Sports: Austin Peay Women’s Basketball
Clarksville, TN – After a season filled with “must-wins” and challenges, the Austin Peay Lady Govs entered Saturday night’s game against Southeast Missouri faced with their biggest “must-win” of the season.
A play-in game for a berth in next week’s Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Championships in Nashville.
And, compounded by the pressure of playing on Senior Night, the Lady Govs turned to one of their two seniors for an answer as Whitney Hanley scored 19 points in her final game in the Dunn Center and powered the Lady Govs to an 88-84 win over the Southeast Missouri Redhawks.“I’ve said before that this team has persevered,” Austin Peay Lady Govs Head Coach Carrie Daniels said. “There were a lot of times when they could have hung their heads but they didn’t. Right now it’s tournament time. If you can’t get excited about that don’t get on the bus to Nashville.”
Hanley was dominant from the start, helping the Lady Govs sprint out to a quick 4-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
When the Redhawks did put together runs midway through the first and second halves, it was Hanley’s sharp shooting that kept the Lady Govs in it.
Hanley furthered her legacy as a member of the Lady Govs with a jumper with 1:08 to play in the first half that moved her into sole possession of fourth-place on the school’s all-time scoring list, passing former Lady Govs standout Ashley Haynes (1,497 points).
Hanley also surpassed the 1,500-point mark just over four minute into the second when half when her 3-pointer put the Lady Govs up 45-36.
“It’s not the way I wanted to go out but I wanted to support my teammates,” Hanley said. “It’s fine. We’re going to Nashville and that’s all I wanted.”
As Hanley made her way to the bench, the Dunn Center crowd gave a standing ovation as the two-time OVC champion shared a long hug with Daniels.
Despite Hanley’s contributions, however, the Lady Govs also received major contributions from several underclassmen – as well as a fellow senior.
Also playing her final game in the Dunn Center, Jasmine Rayner returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the Lady Govs traveled to SEMO on January 30th, scoring four of the Lady Govs first eight points.
“It was great for those two that have given so much to this program for the past four years,” Daniels said. “It was great for them to have that limelight when they come off the floor and to share with their team and the fans. I think it was big for them to share that moment.”
Meghan Bussabarger also came up big for the Lady Govs, scoring seven of her 13 points in the second half as the Lady Govs saw their second-half lead balloon to 17 with just over four minutes to play.
Bianca Beck finished with 18 points to lead the Redhawks (7-22, 4-12), who made a late surge, closing the game on a 23-11 run over the game’s final 1:45 to make the final score much closer than the game played.
With the win, the Lady Govs clinched the No. 8 seed in next week’s tournament, earning a rematch with Morehead State – a team the Lady Govs defeated 88-81 in overtime on February 18th.
Despite their recent success against the Eagles, Daniels said she wasn’t overly concerned about tournament pairings.
“We’re there,” Daniels said. “Anybody we go up against is going to be one possession at a time and that’s how we’ve got to face it.”
“We’re excited to be there. “I’m excited for us to get to Nashville and prepare them for this next game. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.”
Southeast Missouri vs Austin Peay
2/25/12 -5:15pm at Clarksville, TN. (Dunn Center)
Southeast Missouri 84
Austin Peay 88
|Score by Periods||1st||2nd||Total|
|Southeast Missouri||30||54||84||Record: (7-22, 4-12 OVC)|
|Austin Peay||36||52||88||Record: (8-21, 5-11 OVC)|
|Points in the paint-SEMO 40,APSU 26. Points off turnovers-SEMO 9,APSU 24.|
|2nd chance points-SEMO 9,APSU 9. Fast break points-SEMO 0,APSU 2.|
|Bench points-SEMO 20,APSU 26. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-0 times.|
|Last FG-SEMO 2nd-00:00, APSU 2nd-02:24.|
|Largest lead-SEMO None, APSU by 17 2nd-04:16.|
|Officials: Charles Carroll (R), Michael Trussell, Janice Jordan
Technical fouls: Southeast Missouri-None. Austin Peay-None.
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