Huff Repeats As Best Sixth Player To Highlight Specialty Awards
2016 Big West Women's Basketball Specialty Awards
For the second year in a row, the Big West specialty awards featured a repeat winner as Hawai’i’s Megan Huff claimed back-to-back Best Sixth Player accolades.
The other winners featured first timers as Long Beach State’s Jewelyn Sawyer claimed the Defensive Player of the Year, while UC Riverside’s Annelise Ito earned the Best Hustle award.
Huff, a sophomore from Federal Way, Wash., decided to play only basketball this year after splitting her time between volleyball and basketball a year ago. She upped her averages from 6.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.9 minutes in 2014-15 to 8.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 20.9 minutes per game. During conference play, Huff averaged 9.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 21.1 minutes per outing. Huff recorded 13 double-figure scoring games so far this season, while two of her three double figure rebound games came as a reserve. Huff continues a strong trend of Rainbow Wahine reserves, as a UH player has won the award in four straight seasons.
Sawyer, a junior from Paramount, Calif., was the primary defender on the league’s best defense. Sawyer ranks seventh in the Big West in steals with 1.6 per game and also ranks seventh in rebounding at 6.3 per contest. Sawyer routinely guards the opposing team’s top backcourt player, leading the 49ers to a Big West-best 21.5 turnovers forced per game. Sawyer led an even better defense during conference play as LBSU forced 22.1 turnovers, racked up 7.6 steals and allowed just 62.6 points per game.
Ito, a senior from Berkeley, Calif., was one of the most indispensible players for the regular season champion Highlanders before suffering a season-ending injury. Ito averaged 13.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game, supplying whatever UCR needed on a nightly basis in 32.6 minutes per game. Ito also had three double figure rebound games and 11 games of at least five assists. Most impressively, her stat stuffing outings did not effect her shooting as Ito shot 50.7% from the floor and 85.5% from the free throw line.
2015-16 Big West Sixth Woman of the Year
Megan Huff, Hawai’i
2015-16 Big West Defensive Player of the Year
Jewelyn Sawyer, Long Beach State
2015-16 Big West Best Hustle
Annelise Ito, UC Riverside