Erikka Banks earned Big Sky player of the week honor

OGDEN, Utah — Fresh off helping lead the Northern Arizona women’s basketball team to their first 2-0 start in conference play since the 2005-06 season, senior Erikka Banks was named the Big Sky’s Player of the Week on Monday.

She also garnered College Sports Madness’ Player of the Week honor for the conference. The weekly award from the conference office is the first of her career.

"Erikka is one of our seniors and leaders and one of the most selfless players on our team," said head coach Sue Darling. "I know she’ll take this as a huge honor, but she will also praise her teammates for helping her achieve what she did this past weekend. She scored a lot of points, grabbed a lot of rebounds and did a great job defensively, but what I really appreciated was her poise, composure and leadership."

Over the weekend in victories against Sacramento State and Portland State, Banks averaged 19.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game in addition to shooting 47 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the free throw line.

To start off the conference season, Banks posted a line of 22 points and a career-high tying 19 rebounds in NAU’s 64-60 win over Sacramento State on Thursday. Banks had already tallied her fifth double-double of the season by halftime, entering the break with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Her 19 rebounds are the most by any player in the Big Sky this season and equaled her lifetime-best mark set last season at Utah Valley. She also added five steals in helping NAU snap a four-game losing streak to the Hornets.

She followed with another solid performance on Saturday as one of many Lumberjacks to shine in the Lumberjacks’ 94-46 wire-to-wire win against Portland State. The senior from Fresno, Calif. recorded 16 points, nine rebounds and four steals in the win and her efforts on the glass helped NAU to a season-best plus-27 rebounding margin against the Vikings.

Banks is currently averaging 14.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game overall this season. She is third in the league in rebounding, eighth in scoring and second in offensive rebounding. Her 14.0 rebound average last weekend ranked first in the Big Sky during the opening week of conference play.