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Howard named Second-Team All-American by ESPN, SI.com

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 15:45:07-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Rhyne Howard – who is the only player in the nation averaging over 20 points per game with at least 7.3 rebounds per game, 70 assists and 50 steals – has been named a second-team All-America selection by both SI.com and ESPN.com

Howard is having a great junior season for the Wildcats, averaging 20.7 points per game with 7.3 rebounds per game. She has hit a team-best 49 3-pointers and has 78 assists, 51 steals and 18 blocks. Although her scoring average is two points lower from last season, Howard has shown she is an all-around player and not just a scorer upping her rebounds per game, assists per game and steals per game average from both her freshman and sophomore seasons.

The native of Cleveland, Tennessee, has played 22 games this season with half of those coming against top 25 ranked foes. In those games, Howard has shown she is the best player in the country with impressive numbers. In 11 games against ranked opponents, Howard is averaging 22.3 points per game, hitting 47.1 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from 3 with 6.7 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game. Howard has four 30+ scoring games this season with three coming against top-25 ranked teams.

Last week at the 2021 SEC Tournament, Howard played two brilliant games for Kentucky. The guard scored 27 points with six rebounds, four assists and four steals against Florida. In a close game late against the Gators, Howard scored nine fourth-quarter points and turned up the defense leading to several steals and a UK win. She followed with 33 points against top-20 ranked Georgia with three 3s, five rebounds, three steals and an assist. Howard, Candace Parker (Tennessee) and DeWanna Bonner (Auburn) are the only players in the event’s history with four games of 25 or more points and five or more rebounds.

One of her best performances of the year was when she scored 33 points at No. 12 Mississippi State, hitting four 3s with 10 rebounds and six assists. She scored 25 points in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Bulldogs, scoring 25 of UK’s last 31 points, including 10 of 14 in overtime. Other impressive performances on the biggest stage include 32 points with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals against No. 5 South Carolina and 24 points with four 3s, 10 rebounds and four assists against No. 10 Arkansas. She also posted 22 points against No. 13 Indiana and at No. 8 Texas A&M. Howard took over for Kentucky at No. 17 Georgia with 27 points, four rebounds, four steals, two assists and went 4-of-4 from 3 and then followed with her 33-point performance against the Bulldogs in the SEC Tournament.

Howard’s career is already one of the best in program history with still games remaining this year and her senior season in 2021-22. In 81 career games, Howard has hit at least one 3 in 71 games, including 18 games this season. She has posted 10 or more points in 72 career games, 15+ in 58 games, 20+ in 43 games, 25+ in 25 games and 30+ in seven games – including four times this season. The guard has led UK in scoring in 52 career games, in rebounding in 43 career games, in assists in 27 career games, in steals in 28 games and blocks in 30 career games. She has 17 career double-doubles, including six this season.

For her career, Howard has scored 1,613 career points sitting seventh in UK history in points scored. She needs 79 more to tie Maci Morris for sixth. Howard is the second player in school history to reach 1,500 career points prior to their senior season with the other being All-American and UK all-time leading scorer Valerie Still.