Banjo garners all-conference honors, Akers declared A-Sun's top defensive player
Banjo garners all-conference honors, Akers declared A-Sun's top defensive player
Tuesday, March 7, 2006

MACON, Ga. (March 7, 2006) - Sophomore Nichelle Akers (Sumter, S.C.) has been named the Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year, announced by conference offices on Tuesday.  Senior B.J. Banjo (Baltimore, Md.) also received A-Sun recognition, earning a spot on the all-conference first team.


Banjo is one of just three players to be unanimously selected to the first team, along with Stetson's Nefertiti Walker and Belmont's Alysha Clark.  Clark cleaned up the conference awards earning both Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors.  Also receiving first-team nods were Ashley Williams of Jacksonville, and Shontavia Williams of Florida Atlantic.


Banjo, a three-time A-Sun Player of the Week, averaged 19.1 points per game during the regular season, third-best in the A-Sun.  The senior also ranks third in the league in three-point percentage (42.2) and in free-throw percentage (80.3).  Banjo also ended the season tied with Walker for the league lead in three pointers per game, with both guards sinking 2.94 treys a night. 


The guard is currently among the top 20 nationally in scoring, 3-point percentage, and three-points per game.  Her 39-point performance against Southeast Missouri State is the top output in the A-Sun this season, and the ninth-highest total in the NCAA.   


Akers was tabbed the conference's top defender after nabbing 53 steals on the season, including a career-high and school-record tying nine takeaways against Campbell on Jan. 19.  She averaged 2.20 steals a night during the Lady Bucs' inaugural A-Sun campaign.  The sophomore showed she can crash the boards as well, grabbing a career-high 10 in the win over Mercer on Feb. 23.


The Lady Bucs will vie for an NCAA Tournament bid this weekend, playing in the A-Sun Conference Tournament, in Dothan, Ala.  ETSU, the number-three seed, draws sixth-seeded Mercer in the first round.  Game time is slated for 6 p.m. CST, on Thursday, March 9.  The championship tilt is slated for Saturday, March 11, tipping off at 1 p.m. CST.  The championship game can be seen live on CSS.



Player of the Year

Alysha Clark, Belmont


Defensive Player of the Year

Nichelle Akers, ETSU


Freshman of the Year

*Alysha Clark, Belmont


Coach of the Year

Tony Cross, Belmont


First Team All-Atlantic Sun

Pos.        Name                       School              Cl.      Hometown                  

G            *Nefertiti Walker       Stetson             Sr.      Atlanta, Ga.                

G            *B.J. Banjo              ETSU               Sr.      Baltimore, Md.          

F             *Alysha Clark           Belmont            Fr.      Mt. Juliet, Tenn.          

F             Ashley Williams       Jacksonville      So.     Jacksonville, Fla.        
G            Shontavia Williams  FAU                   Sr.      Miami, Fla.                  


Second Team All-Atlantic Sun

Pos.        Name                       School              Cl.      Hometown                  

F             Shavonder Clarke    KSU                  Sr.      Euxema, Bahamas    

F/C         Adrienne Rieley        Campbell          Jr.       Hope Mills, N.C.         

G            Sarah Russell          Mercer              Jr.       Simon's Island, Ga.    

G            Sheena Carpenter   Jacksonville      Sr.      Augusta, Ga.              

G            Sequenta BlackmanGWU                 Sr.     Raleigh, N.C.                                               


All-Freshman Team

Pos.        Name                       School                         Hometown                  

F             *Alysha Clark           Belmont                       Mt. Juliet, Tenn.          

F             Miriam McAlister       Lipscomb                     Nashville, Tenn.         

F             Jessica Bobbitt        Belmont                       Trenton, Tenn.           

F             Laura Povilonyte      GWU                           Klaipeda, Lithuania        

G            Jessica Bryant         GWU                           Waynesville, N.C.      


* = Unanimous selection