Rhyne Howard earns back-to-back SEC Player of the Week honors
For the second consecutive week, University of Kentucky women’s basketball sophomore guard Rhyne Howard has been tabbed the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week. The most recent honor comes after Howard tied the school record for scoring in a game with 43 points last Thursday at Alabama.
Howard was impressive in Kentucky’s win against the Crimson Tide, going 14-of-21 from the field, 7-of-11 from 3 and 8-of-13 from the free-throw line in the game with six rebounds and five assists. Her strong performance made her the first player in program history to score 25 or more points in five straight games and the first player in program history to have 37 or more points in consecutive games after she had 37 against Tennessee the first week of January. The guard’s 43 points were the most ever by a UK player in an SEC game and the third-most by any player in the NCAA this season.
The native of Cleveland, Tennessee, hit seven 3s against Alabama tied the program record for 3s made in a game and she became the first player in program history to hit seven or more 3s in consecutive games after also hitting seven against Tennessee. The seven 3s by Howard were part of 16 3-pointers made by Kentucky against Alabama, setting a new school record for 3s hit in a game. Howard ended the week by leading UK in scoring against Florida with 22 points, going 8-of-14 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line with six rebounds.
On the season, Howard is averaging 23.8 points per game with 5.8 rebounds per game and a team-high 36 assists. Howard’s 381 points this season ranks first in the nation while her points per game mark is third nationally and first in the league. The sophomore’s 53 3s made and 3.3 3s made per game rank seventh nationally and second in the league. Howard has scored 20 or more points in 11 games this season, leading UK in scoring 13 times this season.
For her career, Howard has 906 points, needing just 94 more to join Kentucky’s 1,000-point club. In 48 career games, Howard has hit at least one 3 in 42 games, scored 10+ in 41 games, scored 20+ in 21 games and led UK in scoring in 29 games. In early December, Howard was named the SEC Player of the Week by the league office for her impressive performances against Charlotte and Samford. That honor was the first of its kind from the league office for Howard, who last year set a new league record by being named SEC Freshman of the Week eight times. Howard won the honor last week after scoring 28 points against South Carolina before her 37 against Tennessee.
The reigning unanimous national freshman of the year last season, Howard has been tabbed to nearly every watch list for national honors, including the Citizen Naismith Trophy Top 50, John R. Wooden Award Top 30, Cheryl Miller Award Preseason Watch List, WBCA Preseason Wade Watch List, USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Watch List and was Preseason All-SEC First Team by both league coaches and league media.