Four Lady Buffs Named to Conference Academic Team

A controversy-ridden University of Colorado athletic program received a quiet leg up Wednesday, as four of its women's basketball standouts were named to the 2004 Academic All-Big 12 team. Seniors <b>Tera Bjorklund</b>, <b>Kate Fagan</b> and <b>Randie Wirt</b> were named as first team honorees, while junior <b>Veronica Johns-Richardson</b> qualified as a second team selection.

Bjorklund has taken the 13th-ranked Buffs on her shoulders all season; playing her way to team highs in field goal percentage (62.2 percent) and points per game (18.2). Her efforts during her final collegiate season have earned her considerations as a finalist for all three National Player of the Year honors -- the Wooden Award, the Wade Trophy and the Naismith Award.

Fagan and Wirt will prove just as vital for head coach Ceal Barry as her Buffs prepare for the Big 12 Conference tournament late this month. The guard-forward combination represents the team's second and third-most predominant scoring threats, combining for 23.6 per game. Additionally, Fagan is the team assist leader (78) from her starting point guard position, and Wirt is just three rebounds off Bjorklund for the team high (203).

Rounding out CU's honorees this year is flashy guard Johns-Richardson. The 5-foot-9 Fullerton, Calif., native has started 20 games this winter for the Buffaloes, averaging 7.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game throughout.

Among the conference honorees, Texas Tech's Jolee Ayers-Curry was highlighted after being nominated with a 4.00 grade point average. The senior is currently pursuing graduate studies in Sports Management.

Four Colorado natives were also named to the list; Baylor's Jessika Stratton (Colorado Springs), Missouri's Evan Unrau (Fort Collins), and Texas' Jamie Carey (Thornton) each earned first-team honors, while Kansas State standout Chelsea Domenico (Thornton) qualified for the second team.

To qualify for the annual nomination, awarded by the College Sports Information Directors of America, student-athletes must maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average and must have participated in at least 60 percent of her team's scheduled contests.

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