Elizabeth Williams was voted the ACC Defensive Player of the Year by the 12 league head coaches.DURHAM, N.C. - After blocking an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) freshman record 102 shots during the regular season, Duke rookie
Other members of the All-ACC Defensive team were Alicia DeVaughn (Maryland), Lexie Gerson (Virginia), Natasha Howard (Florida State) and Shenise Johnson (Miami). Williams’ honor marks the first ACC freshman to be named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Duke has featured at least one player on the All-ACC Defensive team in 12 of the last 13 years.
Williams, who is out of Virginia Beach, Va., became the fifth different student-athlete and first freshman in ACC history to notch over 100 blocked shots in a single season. She currently ranks seventh on the ACC single season swat list with her 102 blocks. A first team All-ACC and ACC Rookie of the Year selection, Williams is averaging 14.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, 1.6 steals and 1.5 assists.
She ranks third nationally with a 3.6 blocks per game average and with her nine ACC Rookie of the Week selections this season she tied a league record held since the 1992-93 campaign.
Williams is a midseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award and posted one of only two triple-doubles this season in the league with 18 points, 16 rebounds and an ACC-record 12 blocked shots. In the ACC, the 6-3 center ranks fourth in rebounding (8.4), seventh in scoring (14.4), ninth in field goal percentage (48.8) and first in blocks (3.8).
In the Duke freshman record book, Williams is moving up many of the charts -- fifth in points (403), fourth in double-figure rebounds (8), 10th in free throws made (79), sixth in free throws attempted (129), tied for fifth in double-figure scoring games (22) and tied for eighth in 20-point games (3).
Williams joins only Lindsey Harding (2006 & 2007) and Chante Black (2009) as Duke standouts to be named ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Duke (24-4, 15-1 in the ACC) is closed out the regular season with wins over No. 5 Miami and at North Carolina to claim the ACC regular season title outright for the first time since 2006-07. The Blue Devils have now won 11 league regular season titles in school history and at least a share of the title for the third straight year.
On Friday, March 2, Duke will open the ACC Tournament as the No. 1 seed against the winner of eighth-seeded Florida State versus ninth-seeded N.C. State contest at 3:00 p.m. The game will be aired live on RSN-TV at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
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