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UK women’s basketball standout Rhyne Howard helps Team USA win FIBA U19 World Cup title

University of Kentucky women’s basketball standout Rhyne Howard led Team USA in scoring as the Red, White and Blue captured the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup championship in Bangkok, Thailand, by going unbeaten (7-0) at the event.

For her efforts, Howard was tabbed to the all-tournament team.

No. 1 in FIBA’s world youth women’s rankings, Team USA started with wins against Australia, South Korea and Hungary in preliminary rounds before defeating Germany, Canada and Belgium to advance to the finals against Australia. In the championship contest against Australia, Team USA prevailed in overtime, 74-70.

UK women’s basketball guard Rhyne Howard led Team USA in scoring throughout the week at the FIBA U19 World Cup championship in Thailand, averaging 13.1 points per game. (Photo courtesy of UK)

Howard, who had 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in the championship game, led the USA in scoring throughout the week, averaging 13.1 points per game to go along with 5.1 rebounds per contest. In pool play, Howard had 10 points, three rebounds and one steal against Australia before collecting 17 points, nine rebounds and two steals vs. Korea. Against Hungary, Howard scored 18 points and added eight rebounds.

Howard has enjoyed success playing for Team USA in the past, earning most valuable player honors last summer in Mexico while helping the U18 team to a 5-0 gold-medal run.

Howard is coming off an outstanding first season at Kentucky in which she was named a unanimous national freshman of the year by espnW, USBWA and WBCA. She was also honored as the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year by league coaches and SEC Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press. She was named WBCA All-America honorable mention, first-team All-SEC, SEC All-Freshman Team and second-team All-SEC by the AP.

All the postseason awards were on top of Howard being named SEC Freshman of the Week eight times, setting the program and league record for most rookie of the week awards. The SEC honors came on Nov. 13, 27, Dec. 11, 23, Jan. 8, Feb. 12, 19 and 26. She was named National Freshman of the Week on Dec. 26 by USBWA, the first player in program history to accomplish that feat.

The guard put herself in elite company this season as she was only the second freshman in program history to lead the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding as a rookie, joining former UK All-American Valerie Still. Howard ended the season leading UK with 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while she ranked second with 68 steals and 74 3-pointers made and third in assists and blocks.

She scored in double figures in 26 games with 20 or more points in 10 games and five double-doubles. Howard was the only freshman in the country with 500+ points, 70+ 3-pointers, 75+ assists and 65+ steals while she ranked third among freshmen nationally in points and points per game.

From University of Kentucky

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