Rhyne Howard Named SEC, Naismith Trophy Player of the Week
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The weekly honors keep coming in for University of Kentucky women’s basketball junior guard Rhyne Howard, who most recently has been named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week and Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week, it was announced Tuesday afternoon.
This is the fifth SEC Player of the Week honor for Howard, who claimed the award four times last season. The weekly superlative from the league marks the 13th honor from the league in her career, which currently leads all active league players. The national honor is the third of the week for Howard, who Monday was named the espnW National Player of the Week and College Sports Madness National Player of the Week.
Howard continues to show why she is the best player in women’s college basketball, leading Kentucky to back-to-back wins last week against No. 10 Arkansas and No. 12 Mississippi State. The wins for Kentucky marked the first time the program has ever beat consecutive top-15 league opponents and only the third time it has secured consecutive wins against top-15 ranked foes and the first since December 2013.
In the league opener vs. Arkansas, Howard scored 24 points with 10 rebounds, adding four 3s and four assists. The 24 points were a season high before she paced Kentucky at No. 12 Mississippi State with 33 points, adding 10 rebounds, six assists, a block and a steal. Against State, Howard put the team on her back late in the game scoring 25 of her 33 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. In fact, Howard scored 25 of Kentucky’s final 31 points in the game, including 10 of the team’s 14 overtime points.
Howard is the first player in school history to score at least 33 points with 10 rebounds and six assists against an SEC opponent and the second player to accomplish the feat against any opponent, joining Belitta Croley. The native of Cleveland, Tennessee, had two double-doubles on the week, which were her second and third double-doubles of the season. Howard also led UK in assists in both games, while her eight 3s made during the week moved her up to fourth all-time in program history in 3s made in a career.
The preseason favorite for national player of the year, Howard has lived up to the hype so far in 2020-21, leading Kentucky with 18.8 points per game and adding 7.3 rebounds per game. The guard leads Kentucky with 23 3-pointers made and is second on the team with 29 assists and 14 steals. In two league games, Howard is averaging 28.5 points per game with 10.0 rebounds per game and is 8-for-13 from 3 with 10 assists.
Howard continues her move up the career record book at UK, ranking fourth all-time in career 3-pointers made with 181, while her 1,308 career points scored ranks 21st all-time. With 10 more points, Howard will move into the top 20 all-time, passing Bria Goss.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.