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DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University freshman Elizabeth Williams has been named one of five finalists for the 2012 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year, which was announced on Monday by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). 

Other finalists include Brittney Griner of Baylor, Glory Johnson of Tennessee, Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford and Devereaux Peters of Notre Dame.

The WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year award honors the best defensive collegiate Division I women’s basketball player. All Division I conference defensive players of the year are eligible to be nominated for the award. A selection committee makes the final decision on the winner. If a conference does not select a defensive player of the year, the conference representative can nominate one player to be considered.

“The age-old adage, ‘defense wins games,’ still rings true and I think each of these women have taken that to heart as a finalist for this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award,” said WBCA Beth Bass. “I wish each of these ladies the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show in Denver!”

Williams, who was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, ACC Rookie of the Year and named to the All-ACC First Team, has led the sixth-ranked Blue Devils (27-5) this season averaging 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, 1.6 steals and 1.6 assists.  

The winner will be announced during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 5 p.m. MT Monday, April 2, in Denver. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four®.

A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Williams became just the third freshman in league history to be named to the All-ACC first team.  She ranks fourth nationally with a 3.6 blocks per game average and owns the ACC freshman record for blocks in a season with 115.  Williams also became the first league freshman to be named ACC Defensive Player of the Year.  Her 115 blocked shots is more than 217 Division I women’s basketball teams.

Williams and the second-seeded Blue Devils will take on top-seeded Stanford on Monday, March 26 at 9:04 p.m., on ESPN for a chance to advance to the NCAA Final Four in Denver, Colo.

 - d - u - k - e -

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