April 21, 2005
WACO, Texas - A record crowd of over 1,300 was on hand at the annual Lady Bear Appreciation Banquet, sponsored by the Tip Off Club, at the Ferrell Center on Thursday night. Fans participated in Baylor's celebration as they shared dinner, watched the awards ceremony and enjoyed a video of the championship season at the conclusion of the banquet.
Kim Mulkey-Robertson, her staff and the players put the finishing touches on a highly successful season, a year in which the team claimed the program's first NCAA championship, finished the season ranked No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll and posted a 33-3 record.
For the third straight season Steffanie Blackmon and Sophia Young share most valuable honors. Both players earned all-American and first-team all-Big 12 honors and were finalists for virtually every national award including the Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award and the Wade Trophy. The tandem proved to be the best post duo in the nation, combining to average 33.8 points and 17.2 rebounds an outing for the season. Young, a junior from St., Vincent & the Grenadines, led the team in scoring with 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds a game while Blackmon, a junior from Dallas, followed closely with 15.4 points and 7.9 boards a contest.
Best defender honors went to sophomore forward Abiola Wabara. The 6-1 native of Parma, Italy, became the program's defensive stopper after breaking into the starting lineup 13 games into the season. Wabara, who finished the season averaging 5.5 points and 3.6 rebounds a game and tallied 25 steals and 18 blocked shots, was named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team.
Young received the team's rebounding award for the second straight season. She led the team in rebounding in 20 games this season, including the last five outings, was the team's leader in total boards with 334 and season average at 9.3 and ranked No. 2 in the Big 12.
Steffanie Blackmon, a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, became the program's first Academic All-Ameircan and received the team's academic award.
Lady Bear Award