GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the second straight year, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams has been selected the ACC Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, while Chelsea Gray was also named to the All-ACC Defensive team by a vote of leagues head coaches.
Along with Williams and Gray on the All-Defensive team was Tyaunna Marshall (Georgia Tech), Morgan Stroman (Miami) and Waltiea Rolle (North Carolina). With the Defensive Player of the Year honor, Williams became just the second ACC player to earn the award on two different occasions (Lindsey Harding of Duke in 2006 and 2007).
The Duke duo has helped lead the Blue Devils to a 27-2 overall record and an ACC-record 17-1 league mark on the year. Duke’s defense has been one of the best in the nation ranking ninth in field goal percentage defense (33.5) and 11th in scoring defense (51.5).
Williams, who is from Virginia Beach, Va., is the ACC’s leader in blocked shots with a 2.9 per game average, while ranking No. 10 nationally. She is also averaging 15.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals, while staring the last 25 straight contests. Williams owns five double-doubles and has blocked at least one shot in every collegiate game since arriving a Duke.
Gray leads the ACC in steals and ranks 10th nationally with a 3.6 average, prior to getting injured on Feb. 17 against Wake Forest forcing her to miss the rest of the 2012-13 campaign. A product of Manteca, Calif., Gray owns averages of 12.6 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds on the season. Gray had registered 89 steals and was on pace to set a Duke single-season record for steals.
It marks the sixth time in school history Duke has registered two different student-athletes on the All-ACC Defensive team and the first time since 2006-07. Both Gray and Williams are John R. Wooden, Naismith and USBWA National Player of the Year candidates.
Duke will open the ACC Tournament on Friday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m., against the winner of the No. 8 seed N.C. State versus the No. 9 seed Clemson game at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
Head Coaches All-Defensive Team
Elizabeth Williams, So., C, Duke – Defensive Player of the Year
Chelsea Gray, Jr., G, Duke
Tyaunna Marshall, Jr., G, Georgia Tech
Morgan Stroman, Sr., F, Miami
Waltiea Rolle, Sr., C, North Carolina
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