Vote for the NAU Student-Athlete of the Week
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – This week, fans have five athletes they can choose from for their choice for NAU Student-Athlete of the Week as nominated by the NAU Media Relations office. Fans can vote via the poll question on the nauathletics.com home page, as well as the link above. Voting for the week's nominees will be open until the next poll opens on Monday, but the winner will be selected based on the totals on Thursday morning at 10 a.m.
Last week, the men's basketball team hosted three games at the Rolle Activity Center, but came up short losing to Northern Colorado 64-62 in overtime on Monday, to Eastern Washington 74-68 on Thursday and to Portland State 76-65 on Saturday. The women's basketball team was on the road in the Pacific Northwest, but came away with a pair of losses at Eastern Washington 84-58 on Thursday and at Portland State 73-59 on Saturday. The track and field team hosted the NAU Open on Saturday, adding 10 more athletes to its list of Big Sky qualifiers to bring its total up to 38 for the Big Sky Indoor Championships coming up at the end of the month. Finally, the women's tennis team returned to action after a week off from competition and went 1-2 during the weekend, earning their first win of the season at UTEP on Friday, 4-3, before falling to Air Force, 6-1, on Saturday and New Mexico State, 4-3, on Sunday.
For the week of February 6, the following five athletes are your nominees for NAU Student-Athlete of the Week.
Ephraim Ekanem – Jr. – Forward – Chino, Calif.
Ekanem averaged 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games last week against Northern Colorado, Eastern Washington and Portland State. He led the team in scoring in both the Eastern Washington and Portland State games and committed just three turnovers in 79 total minutes. Ekanem scored a career-high 15 points in Thursday's loss to Eastern Washington while posting seven rebounds and followed that up with a 14 point, eight rebound performance against Portland State on Saturday.
Track & Field:
Nicole Elliott – Sr. – Throws – San Diego, Calif.
Elliott threw a personal best for the second-straight week in the weight throw on Saturday, launching the rock 62-11.5 for the NAU Open win. Elliott's PR was a foot better than her previous mark from last week's Mountain T's Invitational, and she has extended her Big Sky Conference lead to more than two feet over her nearest competitor. The record mark now puts Elliott at 32nd nationally in the event.
Track & Field:
Arnaud Froidmont – Jr. – Sprints – Namur, Belgium
Froidmont had a monumental day on Saturday at the NAU Open, first by winning the 400-meter dash in a time of 47.03@, then by anchoring the Lumberjacks' 4x400-meter relay team to a six-second victory over Arizona State and Arizona. Froidmont not only leads the Big Sky Conference in the 400 meters, but he is also ranked 11th nationally, and unofficially broke a south Belgian record with his effort. In the meet's final event, Froidmont's sub-47 second anchor leg helped the relay to a time of 3:11.58@, which is tops in the conference by nearly seven seconds, and currently ranks 26th in the nation.
Amy Patton – Jr. – Guard – Tempe, Ariz.
Patton averaged 17.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in games at Eastern Washington and Portland State. She also led the team with eight assists, shooting 50% from the field and 50% from three-point range. Patton scored 10 points and added seven rebounds versus Eastern Washington and totaled game-highs with 24 points and six assists to go with four rebounds on Saturday at Portland State.
Johanna Vang – Fr. – Sollentuna, Sweden
Vang went 2-1 in singles play and was the only Lumberjack to win more than one singles match during their three-match weekend. In Friday's win over UTEP, her three-set win, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 4 over Gabi Vazquez was her first collegiate victory of her career. She then earned her second win of the weekend on Sunday at No. 5, 6-4, 6-3, over New Mexico State's Ros-Polly Nguyen that briefly evened the match at 2-2. Vang, teaming with fellow freshman Hannah Stone, also won her first two matches of the weekend at No. 2 doubles against UTEP and Air Force on Friday and Saturday. She currently leads NAU with two singles wins and is tied for the team-lead with three doubles wins through the first four matches of the season.