March 5, 2006
Men's Basketball - J.P. Batista, Gonzaga University
Gonzaga's J.P. Batista turned in an outstanding month, leading the Bulldogs to a perfect 8-0 record, en route to West Coast Conference Player of the Month honors. The senior from Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil averaged 20.4 points per game to go along with a conference-best 9.8 boards per contest during the month of February. The Zags posted a perfect 7-0 record in the second half of conference play to capture their second undefeated regular season title in the last three seasons. The Zags other win came out of conference, defeating Stanford on February 11th in a contest featured as part of ESPN's College Gameday.
Batista's 20.4 ppg ranked third in the WCC during the month, while his 59.8 shooting percentage was the second best clip in the league. Batista made opponents pay for sending him to the free throw line, knocking down 82.9 percent from the charity stripe, ranking him fourth in the WCC. The 6-9 senior blocked 11 shots during the month to tie for fifth in the WCC with a 1.38 blocks per game average. The Big Brazilian topped 20 or more points in five games, while registering a league-high five double-doubles.
While teammate Adam Morrison received the lion's share of the media attention, Batista quietly went about his business, starting the month with four consecutive games of 20 or more points. His big month was highlighted by a career-high tying 32-point, 10-rebound effort in the Zags' win over Northwest rival Portland.
Women's Basketball - Kayla Huss, Santa Clara University
Santa Clara's Kayla Huss was named the WCC Player of the Month for February after leading the Broncos to a 6-1 record on the month and helping the team capture a share of the WCC regular season title for the first time since 2001. The Broncos also garnered the top seed in the WCC Tournament with an 11-3 overall mark, marking the first time that SCU has entered the event as the top seed since 1998.
Huss enjoyed a stellar month of February, averaging 13.0 points per game to rank seventh in the league, along with 4.0 assists per game and 3.0 rebounds per contest. The senior also shot 50.0% from beyond the arc, sinking 18-of-36 from three-point land and averaged 2.57 three-pointers per game to lead the conference. Her 18 treys also marked a conference-high.
The native of Everett, WA closed out the regular season ranked 15th in the WCC in scoring (9.2 ppg) and fourth in the league in assists (3.22 apg). Huss led the conference in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 42-of-90 from beyond the arc for a .467 percentage, and led the WCC with a 1.58 assist/turnover ratio.
Huss was the driving force down the stretch for Santa Clara, scoring 15 points in a win over San Francisco on February 17 as the Broncos stretched their league-best winning streak to nine games. She also tossed in a season-high 22 points in a loss to LMU on February 23.