Frost, Lusain earn Big Sky honors for NAU women
The Northern Arizona women’s basketball team collected three honors Tuesday with the announcement of the All-Big Sky teams and individual award winners, which were selected by the league’s head coaches. Senior Amanda Frost was selected as a member of the All-Big Sky first team, junior Erikka Banks was named an honorable-mention selection and freshman Brittani Lusain earned the conference’s outstanding freshman award.
Frost capped off her career with one of the most prolific seasons in program history to earn her first career All-Big Sky honor. She led the conference in scoring at 22.5 points per game while leading the conference in 20-point games (19) and 30-point games (6). Frost also ranked second in the conference in steals (2.5 per game), third in free-throw percentage (.867) and fifth in 3-point percentage (.376). Among the numerous highlights of her senior season, the Riverside, Calif., native set single-season school records for points scored, scoring average, field goals made, 3-pointers per game and free-throw percentage. Her total of 652 points ranks fifth in Big Sky history, and her 22.5-point scoring average ranks third. On Senior Night, Frost became the 14th player in school history to join the 1,000-point club.
"Amanda rewrote the record books during her time at NAU, and this year particularly was a season for the ages," said Lumberjacks coach Sue Darling. "Amanda has a slight build but is a giant on the court. Obviously Amanda was a prolific scorer in the league, but she was also top 10 in assists. Amanda was absolutely the hardest worker on our team, and it’s nice to see all her hard work pay off with this prestigious honor."
In her first season as a full-time starter, Banks averaged 13.5 points per game, second on the team behind Frost, and a team-best 7.7 rebounds. Banks ranked 11th in the conference in scoring and finished the season third in rebounding. She also led the Big Sky in field-goal percentage at .590, setting a new NAU season record, and shot 63.6 percent from the field in league play. After shooting 65.2 percent from the free-throw line during her first two seasons, Banks improved dramatically to 81.6 percent during her junior year, tied for seventh-best in the Big Sky, while making 129 free throws, second-most in school history. The Fresno, Calif., product tallied six games of at least 20 points and two games of at least 30 points and led the team with six double-doubles.
"Erikka is our silent assassin," Darling said. "She isn’t flashy, but she gets results every time she steps on the floor. While Erikka scores and rebounds with the best in the league, her greatest assets may be her intelligence and craftiness on defense."
Lusain made an instant impact in her first season regardless of whether she was in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. The freshman from San Diego, Calif., became the sixth player in school history to named the conference’s top freshman. She led all Big Sky freshmen in scoring (13.0 per game, good for 13th overall), rebounding (6.5, good for ninth), assists (4.9, good for second) and steals (1.9, good for seventh). In terms of assists per game, Lusain ranked fourth among all freshmen in the country and finished the season with 21 double-digit scoring games, second on the team behind Frost, and 15 games with at least five assists while posting five double-doubles, behind only Banks on the team.
"Brittani had a phenomenal freshman campaign," Darling said. "It speaks volumes that out of all the freshmen in the league, the Big Sky coaches voted Brittani as the most outstanding. Brittani had a great impact on our team via scoring, rebounding, assists and steals while also drawing the toughest defensive assignment night in and night out. She will have a strong presence in the Big Sky for years to come."
For the first time since 2008, the Lumberjacks had multiple players on the All-Big Sky teams. Lusain is NAU’s first outstanding freshman since Amy Patton won it in 2010.