April 14, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico women's basketball team held its annual Bank of the West Awards Banquet on April 13 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown. Fans and former players came out to celebrate head coach Don Flanagan's retirement and the 2010-11 season. The team also honored the Lobos' two seniors: Amanda Best and Jessica Kielpinski.
Flanagan was honored during the banquet for his outstanding career as the Lobos' head coach. Flanagan coached for 16 years at New Mexico and compiled a 340-168 record to become the winningest coach in New Mexico basketball history. Flanagan had eight NCAA appearances, six conference titles and 13 post-season appearances during his career at New Mexico.
Flanagan was one of several speakers who addressed the crowd and presented the team's yearly awards. Sophomore Caroline Durbin earned the Student-Athlete of the Year Award for the second straight year in a row for carrying the team's best grade point average. Durbin was also honored with the Most Improved Player Award. Junior Porche Torrance was honored with the Best Defensive Player Award after being named to the All-Defensive team by the Mountain West Conference earlier this season. Junior Lauren Taylor earned the Community Lobo Award for her work in the community.
Best earned the Reaching For The Stars Award, which is the Most Valuable Player honor after leading the team in several categories this season. Best finished her career as a two-time All-MWC selection, a first-team Academic All-District selection and a third-team Academic All-American selection.
New Mexico also recognized those players who had earned MWC awards during the season. Torrance was acknowledged for her All-Defensive Team award, while Best was acknowledged for her third-team All-MWC award. Torrance, Kielpinski and Best were all recognized for receiving Player of the Week Awards for the first time in their careers this season.