Williams Pac-12 Player of the Week
SAN FRANCISCO – Washington State Men's Basketball sophomore guard Noah Williams was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the week ending on Feb. 21, the conference office announced Monday. Williams is the first Coug to earn the award this season and the first since CJ Elleby took home the top honor Feb. 9, 2020. Freshman Efe Abogidi took home Freshman of the Week honors earlier in the year on Dec. 28.
The second-year star fittingly become just the third Coug underclassmen to earn the conference's top honor in the last 12 years, joining Elleby (2020) and the legend Klay Thompson (2009).
A Seattle native, Williams led the Cougs to a big finish to their home schedule, sweeping Cal and Stanford on the weekend for the first time since 2011-12. Playing without his running mate and the Cougs' leading scorer, Williams went super-nova Thursday to lead the Cougs to an 82-51 victory over Cal. The 31-points marked the largest margin of victory in a Pac conference game for WSU since 1993. Not satisfied with just one win on the weekend, Williams took his game to a nuclear level, willing the Cougs to a triple-ot, 85-76, win over Stanford Saturday afternoon. The triple-ot thriller was the Cougs first win in such a game since 1982 and marked the Cougs first win over the Cardinal since 2015.
Facing off against a Cal team that was coming off its biggest win of the season, Williams lit the fuse early scoring 24 points of his then career-best 32 points in the opening 20 minutes of play. With the Cougs on cruise control the sophomore would play just 10 minutes in the second half before exiting with his first 30+ point effort of the season. Impressively, Williams would do his damage on an efficient 12-for-20 effort from the floor including hitting a then career best four from behind the arc. In addition to his scoring, the rising star put together his most complete effort of his young career, just missing out on the Cougs' first triple-double since 2007 as he grabbed a career-best nine rebound and dished out seven assists. In total, Williams either scored or assisted on 48 of the Cougs' 82 points.
After a hitting a level he had never hit before Thursday, Williams blasted his way into a stratosphere few others had done at WSU as the young Coug dropped 40, in a program-record 54 minutes played, to lead WSU over Stanford in an instant classic of a college basketball game Saturday. Willing the Cougs to the triple-ot win, Williams became the first Coug since Thompson in 2011 to hit for 40 against a conference opponent. He would carve up the Cardinal from all over the court but did his most damage from deep, hitting a career-high eight three-pointers, the most by a Coug since Robert Franks drilled eight against Oregon State, March 9, 2019. None of the eight three-pointers was bigger than the sophomore's game-tying triple with just seconds to play to send the game into overtime.
William's 40 points against the Cardinal was the most points scored by a Pac-12 player this season and the most scored in a conference game since 2016. His 72 combined points marked the most scored over a weekend in program history surpassing Bennie Seltzer's record of 68 set in 1993. He became just the fifth Coug all-time to score 30+ points in back-to-back games and the first since Seltzer.
Williams is averaging 14.5 points per game while shooting a team-best 41.7% from distance.
He becomes the 22nd different Cougar to receive conference player of the week honors and just the fourth Cougar to be named conference player of the week during Pac-12 play since 2009-10 joining CJ Elleby, Robert Franks and Faisal Aden.
The Cougars close out their regularly scheduled games on the road at Arizona (Feb. 25) and Arizona State (Feb. 27).