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Rhyne Howard named SEC Player of the Week after magical Senior Day

Howard had a record-breaking performance while honoring Terrence Clarke and Blair Green by wearing No. 5.

Zack Geoghegan

Kentucky Wildcats women’s basketball superstar Rhyne Howard has been named the SEC Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.

It comes after Kentucky celebrated Rhyne Howard Day on Sunday vs. Auburn as she played her final game inside Memorial Coliseum.

So of course, Howard had a record-breaking performance, scoring 32 points in the game, which is the most points ever by a Kentucky senior on Senior Day. It also moved Howard into the top-25 all-time in scoring in the SEC, as she now ranks 24th with 2,185 points.

Howard hit eight triples in the game, which was a new school record for threes made in a game. She had six in the first half alone, which was a new school record for threes in a half. She now has 272 career threes, which makes her the school’s career record holder.

The best part of what was a magical Senior Day was Howard honoring former Kentucky men’s basketball player Terrence Clarke, who passed away in April of 2021, and her teammate/roommate Blair Green, who has missed this season due to injury.

With SEC Tournament play beginning this week, Howard is averaging 20.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game with 85 assists, 67 steals, 34 blocks and a team best 58 triples. Howard ranks high nationally in several categories, including 16th nationally in points per game and 29th nationally in steals per game.

The Tennessee native ranks first in the SEC in points per game, third in steals per game, third in field-goals made, and fifth in free-throw percentage.

For her career, Howard has scored 2,185 career points sitting second in UK history in points scored. She is tied for second in field-goals made (757), first in career triples made (272) and third in career three-point field-goal percentage (37.9%). She is also fourth in UK history in steals per game at 2.367.

Looking ahead, Kentucky has earned the seventh seed in the 2022 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament. The tournament is taking place in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena from March 2-6th. The Wildcats will play Mississippi State on Thursday at 7 pm ET in the second round of the event.

As for the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky is currently among the ‘Last Four Byes’ line of ESPN’s most recent bracketology. That would have seemed nearly impossible on February 10th when Kentucky fell at home to South Carolina, dropping the Wildcats’ record to 9-11 and 2-8 overall. It appeared highly likely they weren’t going to be playing in any postseason tournament.

However, the Wildcats have since reeled off six straight wins to get firmly back in the NCAA Tournament picture.

But the work isn’t done yet.

They Wildcats need to win at least Thursday’s game vs. the Bulldogs, who are sitting on the ‘First Four Out’ line, to feel comfortable about making the Big Dance.

Regardless of how the season ends, there’s no question Rhyne Howard is one of the greatest athletes to ever grace the UK campus. Here’s to hoping we’ll be seeing more of it for another month.