INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – Aaron Williams of Wheaton College (Norton, Mass.) and Kaalyn Petersen of Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) were named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III National Players of the Week for the week ending December 4.
Williams, a 6-6 senior forward from Springfield, Mass., posted two 30-plus scoring performances for Wheaton last week. He totaled career highs of 42 points (12-of-20 FG, 14-of-16 FT, 4-of-8 3FG) and 18 rebounds, while adding three blocks, two steals and an assist in a 93-88 victory over Lasell on Tuesday. Williams made three free throws in the final 22 seconds to secure the win after scoring 33 points in the first half. Then, against unbeaten Trinity (receiving votes – D3hoops.com) on Saturday, he totaled 30 points (12-of-19 FG, 1-of-2 FT, 5-of-9 3FG), eight rebounds and three blocks in a 73-69 defeat. For the week, Williams averaged 36.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 1.0 steals, and 0.5 assists while shooting 61.5 percent (24-of-39) from the field, 83.3 percent (15-of-18) from the foul line and 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from three-point range. His 42 points on Tuesday was the second-highest total in program history, while the 18 rebounds were fourth-highest. For his efforts, Williams was also selected the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Week.
Petersen, a 6-0 junior forward from Davenport, Iowa, averaged a double-double in Coe’s two games last week. In the first of those two matchups, Petersen had 20 points (9-of-14 FG, 2-of-3 FT), nine rebounds and an assist in the Kohawks’ 58-53 loss to Loras on Wednesday. Against Simpson on Saturday, she totaled career highs of 29 points (12-of-23 FG, 5-of-6 FT) and 22 rebounds, while adding four assists and a block in a 91-86 double-overtime victory. Her bucket and two rebounds in the final 59 seconds of the first overtime helped Coe erase a five-point deficit. For the week, Petersen averaged 24.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 0.5 blocks while shooting 56.8 percent (21-of-37) from the field and 77.8 percent (7-of-9) from the foul line. Her 20-20 performance against Simpson was only the second such feat in program history. For her efforts, Petersen, was also selected the American Rivers Conference (ARC) Player of the Week.
Each Tuesday, the USBWA is selecting men's and women's Division III National Players of the Week. This is the eighth season that the USBWA will recognize national players of the week from Division III.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.