NORMAL -- Emily Hanley had not started a basketball game at Illinois State prior to this season.
Thrust into a more prominent role as a senior, Hanley has grasped the opportunity and run with it all the way to first team all-Missouri Valley Conference honors.
Hanley was part of the Valley's six-player first team announced Wednesday. Junior teammate Katie Broadway was selected to the MVC second team, while senior Amanda Clifton received honorable mention as well as a spot on the league's All-Defensive Team.
"It's a very humbling thing. I'm very excited about it," said Hanley, a Normal Community High School product. "Halfway through the season it started to become a goal. I'm happy to accomplish it."
Hanley ranks fifth in the Valley at 14.2 points per game and eighth at 6.9 rebounds while shooting a league-best 52.0 percent from the field.
She is joined on the first team by Kristin Turk of Drake, Casey Garrison of Missouri State, Kelsey Woodard of Creighton and the Northern Iowa duo of Jacqui Kalin and Lizzie Boeck.
Broadway is averaging 12.2 points and ranks fourth in the Valley in 3-point percentage.
"It's a great accomplishment. I worked for it," Broadway said. "But all the credit goes to my teammates. They put me in position to be successful."
Clifton is scoring a modest 6.1 points but tops the Valley at 4.9 assists, is second with an assist-turnover ratio of 1.9 and earned her spot on the All-Defensive Team with 2.5 steals per game.
"It was definitely a goal to better my defense and get steals and create for the offense," said Clifton.
ISU coach Stephanie Glance believes having three players receive league honors speaks well for a team blanked on the Valley's preseason team.
"It's such a compliment to this team and how they embraced the season and how they embraced a new staff," Glance said. "Individual honors reflect the strength of the team as a whole."
Missouri Valley all-stars
Emily Hanley Illinois State
Lizzie Boeck Northern Iowa
Jacqui Kalin Northern Iowa
Kristin Turk Drake
Casey Garrison Missouri State
Kelsey Woodard Creighton
Katie Broadway (Illinois State), Haleigh Lankster (Wichita State), Sam Schuett (Creighton), Christiana Shorter (Missouri State), Shannon Thomas (Indiana State)
Amanda Clifton (Illinois State), Teri Oliver (Southern Illinois), Raisa Taylor (Bradley), Carli Tritz (Creighton), Katie Yohn (Bradley)
Amanda Clifton (Illinois State), Erin Brocka (Northern Iowa), Haleigh Lankster (Wichita State), Tia Mays (Missouri State), Sam Schuett (Creighton)
Karly Buer (Missouri State), Carli Tritz (Creighton), BreAnna Dawkins (Wichita State), Anna Munn (Indiana State), Sarah Nelson (Creighton)