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TAMPA, Fla. (GoDuke.com) – At the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) awards show Monday evening in Tampa, Fla., Duke University senior Elizabeth Williams was presented with the WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year award. The event was part of the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four.
Williams became the second Blue Devil to win the award as Lindsey Harding was the recipient of the inaugural award in 2007.
“It is incredible,” commented Williams on winning the award. “Any national award like that it definitely means a lot. It is not easy to play defense so an award like National Defensive Player of the Year is truly a blessing. I think overall our team was a good defensive team and I accept this award on behalf of the team. It is a true honor.”
A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Williams earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth straight season, after leading the league in blocks with a 3.0 per game average. The 6-3 center also ranked tied for 12th nationally in blocks, while helping the Blue Devils be one of the top defensive teams in the nation.
Williams averaged 14.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest as the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in Spokane, Wash. She posted a career-best 10 double-doubles on the season and scored 20 or more points five times. Her 2.5 assists per game led all centers nationally.
One of the top shot-blockers in NCAA history, Williams finished her career with 426 swats to rank ninth all-time and was eight blocks away from tying the ACC career mark. A four-time All-ACC Defensive Team selection, Williams also finished her standout career with 44 NCAA Tournament blocks to rank fifth.
The 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.