Duke's Williams, Liston, UNC's DeShields voted 1st team All-ACC
Notre Dame and Duke each had two players selected to the 10-woman all-ACC women’s basketball first team Tuesday.
A panel of media members and school representatives determined the team.
Guards Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd represent the unbeaten Fighting Irish (29-0) on the first team. Duke had center Elizabeth Williams and guard Tricia Liston.
They were joined by North Carolina guard Diamond DeShields, N.C. State’s Markeisha Gatling, Wake Forest’s Dearica Hamby, Georgia Tech’s Tyaunna Marshall, Florida State’s Natasha Howard and Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas.
Loyd averaged 18.4 points while McBride added 17.7 points per game for Notre Dame, the top seed in this week’s league tournament.
Hamby had league-leading averages of 21.7 points and 10.9 rebounds. Thomas, Williams, Howard and Marshall are repeat first-teamers.
Williams averaged an ACC-best 2.9 blocked shots while Liston leads the nation by hitting 50 percent of her 3-point attempts for the second-seeded Blue Devils (25-5).
Thomas, the two-time league player of the year, averaged 18.7 points and 10.8 rebounds for the Terrapins, who have the No. 3 seed.
DeShields and teammate Allisha Gray were joined on the all-freshman team by Maryland’s Lexie Brown, Georgia Tech’s Kaela Davis and Miami’s Adrienne Motley.
DeShields, the daughter of former major league baseball player Delino DeShields, averaged 17.7 points for the Tar Heels.
Williams earned first team All-ACC accolades for the third straight year, while Liston was selected All-ACC for the second consecutive season. With Liston and Williams receiving first team accolades, Duke has now registered at least one member on the All-ACC first team in 15 out of the last 16 years.
Liston is averaging 17.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists. The 6-1 guard is one three-pointer away from matching her own Duke single-season record of 80. Liston has registered 15 games with 20 or more points this season to rank second in the ACC.
Williams is just the second Blue Devil in school history to earn All-ACC First Team accolades three times, after averaging 13.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals in the regular season. The 6-3 center ranks 14th nationally in blocks and 47th in field goal percentage (52.7).
She ranks in numerous ACC categories including first in blocks, 19th in scoring and 12th in rebounding, 11th in field goal percentage. Williams has 87 blocked shots on the season, 10 more than the 77 blocked by all Duke’s opponents combined.
DeShields, the only freshman named to the first team, enjoyed a phenomenal regular season with the Tar Heels, setting the program’s freshman single game and single season scoring records.
Along the way, DeShields averaged a team-leading 17.7 points per game, is tied with Gray for the club lead in steals (48), and is third in both rebounds (5.5) and assists (77) this season for the Tar Heels.
Her numbers were even better within the conference, leading all first-year players in scoring at 19.8 ppg.
In a victory over Duke on Sunday, DeShields became the first Carolina freshman to ever score over 500 points in a single season. Earlier in the season, she scored 38 points at N.C. State to set a school mark.
Gray has already cemented herself as one of the top inside-outside threats in the ACC. She ranks fourth in the league in three-point shooting at 41.9 percent (52-of-124), while her 14.4 point per game average is second on the team and among the top 20 in the ACC. She is tied for the club lead in both steals (48) and free throws made (79), and is fourth in rebounding with 5.3 per game.