(Gophersports.com) For the second straight week, the Big Ten Conference has awarded top honors to a Gopher, as senior center Maurice Walker was named the Player of the Week this afternoon. It is Walker’s first career award and the second for Minnesota this season, after Andre Hollins earned the honor last week.

Walker averaged 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game in the Gophers’ 2-0 week, with wins against North Dakota and Southern. Last Monday against UND in just 23 minutes of action, Walker scored a career-high 22 points on 9-for-11 field goal shooting, and added seven rebounds, three blocks and a steal.

He followed up that performance with his sixth double-figure scoring performance of the year, contributing 11 points with six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 16 minutes of play against Southern.

Walker currently leads the Gophers with 5.3 rebounds per game along with a team-high 18 blocks, and is third in scoring (11.2 ppg). Among B1G players, his 63.5 percent field goal shooting ranks fifth, while he is seventh in blocks.

Minnesota last had two B1G weekly award winners in the 2012-13 season (Hollins and Trevor Mbakwe). The Gophers have won back-to-back player of the week awards just once before, when Travarus Bennett (Jan. 28) and Rick Rickert (Feb. 4) did it in 2002.

In the midst of an eight-day break for final exams, Walker and the Gophers return to action on Friday night, hosting Seattle University at 7 p.m.