DURHAM — After blocking an ACC freshman record 102 shots during the regular season, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams was voted the league’s Defensive Player of the Year by the 12 head coaches.
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 from Virginia Beach, Va., became the fifth different student-athlete and first freshman in ACC history to notch more than 100 blocks in a single season and currently ranks seventh on the ACC single-season list with 102.
A first team All-ACC and 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, she tied a league record held since the 1992-93 season.
Williams is a midseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award and posted one of only two triple-doubles 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, ’07) and Chante Black (2009) as Duke standouts to be named ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Duke (24-4, 15-1 ACC) closed out the regular season with wins over No. 5 Miami and at North Carolina to claim the 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.
The Blue Devils open the ACC Tournament on Friday at 3 p.m. against the winner of today’s Florida State-N.C. State game.
All-ACC Defensive Team
Elizabeth Williams, Fr., C, Duke
Natasha Howard, So., F, Florida State
Alicia DeVaughn, So,, C, Maryland
Shenise Johnson, Sr., G, Miami
Lexie Gerson, Jr., G, Virginia
Article source: HeraldSun - Duke Sports