Torrance, Durbin Pick Up All-Conference Honors
March 5, 2012
ALBUQERUQUE, N.M. --- Senior Porche Torrance was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, as well as to the conference's All-Defensive team and third-team all-MW. Junior Caroline Durbin picked up a spot on the first-team All-MW list, the first of her career.
This is the second consecutive year that Torrance has been named to the All-Defensive team, and her first all-MW and Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Torrance currently leads the Mountain West in rebounding with 248 on the season, an average of 8.9 per game. She's ranked fifth overall in the conference with a shooting accuracy of .471 (129-for-274), as well as fifth in steals with 1.9 per game.
Known for her talents as a shot-blocker, Torrance also leads the MW in blocked shots with 2.4 per game. Her 68 blocks on the season ranks fourth in the UNM record books. Former teammate Jordan Adams holds the top three spots with 105, 92 and 86 blocks on the season. Her 145 career blocked shots ranks second in UNM history. She passed Yvonne McKinnon's 144 blocks against Air Force on Feb. 29 with three stuffs.
"Going in to this year, it was my personal goal to get the Defensive Player of the Year award," Torrance said. "I just did my best all season defending opposing players that Coach Sanchez wanted me to, and my motto as a post has always been to `protect the paint,' so I'm really excited about this.
"Being named all-conference is really exciting too," she continued. "When I step out on the court, I just always try to give it my all to help my team to be successful. It's great knowing that all of the hard work paid off during this rollercoaster season."
With 316 points at an average of 11.3 points per game, Torrance ranks second on the team in scoring. She is the only Lobo who has started all 28 games and averages 31.0 minutes on floor time per contest. She has six double-doubles on the season, logged a career high in scoring with 20 points against San Diego State on Feb. 15 and a career high in rebounds with 18 against UTEP on Dec. 10.
Torrance has one MW Player of the Week honor to her credit this season for the week of Dec. 26-Jan. 1.
"Porche has been our best defensive player all year. I am so proud that all her hard work and extra effort has paid off and the other coaches have given her the credit she deserves. She has represented the University of New Mexico with integrity and class. She has been a terrific senior, leader and captain, and all of these awards are very well deserved."
Durbin's first-team all-conference honor is the first of her career. She is ranked first in the MW with a three-point field goal percentage of .516 over 28 games. This currently holds the No. 1 spot in New Mexico record books for a single-season 3FG accuracy.
"I'm extremely surprised and honored to be recognized on the first-team when there are so many great players in this conference," Durbin said. "I thank the coaches for believing in me and for helping me to improve. This award is also a tribute to my teammates, who are constantly working so hard. I would not have gotten this recognition without them."
With 15.4 points per game, Durbin ranks No. 2 in the conference in scoring, while her .471 (165-for-350) mark from the floor ranks fourth in the MW. She has led the Lobos in scoring in 17 contests this season, and has scored in double figures in 25 games. Six of those double figure efforts were 20-point efforts, including a career high 29 points against Wyoming on Jan. 14.
"Caroline emerged as a scorer for this team from day one," Sanchez said. "She puts in so much extra time to get better as a basketball player; you see the results this year. We have relied on Caroline all season, and she has always come through.
"I am very proud of Caroline, she represents the University of New Mexico with class and integrity both on and off the court, and this is an award that is very well deserved."
An ace in the classroom, Durbin's 4.16 grade point average in business and finance earned her a first-team spot on the Capital One Academic All-America list. She is the first Lobo in program history to be named an Academic All-American, and holds the highest GPA of all 15 recipients of the award.
Durbin was named to the All-Tournament team after putting up 38 points and grabbing 13 rebounds during New Mexico's annual Thanksgiving Tournament.
"With a season of adversity, it is terrific to see both Porche Torrance and Caroline Durbin be recognized for the season they both had," Sanchez continued. "They have worked hard, and given 100% in practice and in games, I am very proud of both of them, and have been honored to coach them."
The Lobos will head to Vegas for the MW Conference Tournament this week, first taking on No. 2 UNLV on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT.