Williams vs. Stanford

Washington State’s Noah Williams reacts after the Cougars’ triple-overtime win over Stanford Saturday at Beasley Coliseum. Williams scored 40 points in the victory.

Many anticipated that Noah Williams would be in line for conference player of the week honors after posting career-high scoring performances against Cal and Stanford, but the Washington State guard was also recognized nationally for what he did in a weekend sweep.

In addition to receiving the Pac-12’s Player of Week award, Williams was named the NCAA March Madness National Player of the Week. He becomes the first WSU player to win the Pac-12 award since CJ Elleby was honored on Jan. 20, 2020, after a sweep of the Oregon schools, and the first Cougar to win national player of the week honors since Robert Franks was named the Naismith Trophy Player of the Week for his efforts in a 2019 road sweep of the Arizona schools.

With top scorer Isaac Bonton sidelined against the Bay Area schools, Williams broke out not once but twice last week, beginning with a career-high 32 points in 31 minutes during an 82-51 blowout of Cal at Beasley Coliseum. Williams, who had 24 first-half points, was pulled with nearly seven minutes to play and the Cougars holding a 30-point lead.

The Seattle native was closing in on the program’s first triple-double since 2007 when he was subbed out with 32 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Williams made four 3-pointers in the win – a career-best that stood for only 48 hours.

In WSU’s home finale against Stanford, Williams helped the Cougars to the program’s first triple-overtime win since 1982 against UCLA, scoring a new career-high 40 points on 12 of 25 from the field. Williams made eight 3-pointers in the game, including a game-tying shot at the end of regulation, and played a program-record 54 minutes.

It was just the ninth 40-point game in school history and the first since Klay Thompson scored 43 points in 2011. Williams fell three points shy of the career-high mark set by his father, Guy, in a 1983 game against Idaho State, and was five points from the single-game school scoring record held by Brian Quinnett.

Williams’ 72 points against Cal and Stanford were the most ever by a WSU player in a weekend series, surpassing the 68 points scored by Bennie Seltzer in 1993. The sophomore also became the first WSU player to score 30-plus points in back-to-back games this season and the fifth player in school history to accomplish that feat.

Additionally, Williams’ 40 points on Saturday are the most scored by a Pac-12 player this season and the most scored in a conference game since Washington’s Andrew Andrews poured in 47 against the Cougars in 2016.

Theo Lawson can be reached at (509) 939-5928 or theol@spokesman.com.