Howard’s triple double leads No. 19 Kentucky Past Winthrop

Senior becomes third player in program history to earn a triple double

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – All-American Rhyne Howard had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, recording the third triple-double in school history, as the 19th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team thumped Winthrop 92-47 on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.

Howard, who is among the greatest players to ever play at Kentucky, joined elite company with her performance on Sunday. Only Leslie Nichols (1986 vs. Louisville) and Makayla Epps (2015 vs. Morehead State) had previously recorded triple-doubles in the history of the Kentucky program.

The Cats also got 20 points and seven rebounds from Dre’una Edwards and 14 points from Robyn Benton. Treasure Hunt had 11 points and eight rebounds, while freshman Jada Walker had 10 points.

Kentucky (3-1) forced Winthrop into 28 turnovers in the game and the Cats turned those into 36 points. Kentucky also dominated points in the paint (52-20), steals (16-5), assists (25-11) and second-chance points (27-6).

Kentucky started quickly, hitting three of its first four shots from the floor on the way to a 6-0 lead. After Winthrop got a basket from Leonor Paisana, UK got a three from Robyn Benton and a putback by Edwards to lead 11-2.

After Winthrop got a three from Jaelyn Royal to cut it to 11-5, Kentucky went on a 14-1 run, using pressure defense to disrupt Winthrop, to take a 25-6 lead. But Winthrop scored the last eight points of the period, making it 25-14 Cats after 10 minutes of play.

Kentucky would start the second period on an 18-2 run, including 16 in a row, including seven by Howard, to extend the lead to 43-16 with 5:01 left in the half. Winthrop would only be able to get within 25 but UK would score the final three points of the period to lead 50-22 at the half.

Howard led all scorers with 14 points, while Edwards has 12. UK forced Winthrop into 18 turnovers, scoring 24 points off of those miscues.

Winthrop got a pair of free throws from Royal to start the third period, but the Cats then scored 10 in a row, including threes by Howard and Jazmine Massengill, to lead 60-24 with 7:18 left in the period.

Winthrop would briefly play the Cats even thanks to six points by Myra Strickland. However, Howard and the Cats closed the period on a 13-2 run to lead 77-32 with 10 minutes left in the game.

Kentucky would stretch the lead to as many as 53 in the fourth quarter before settling for the 45-point win.

Kentucky returns to action on Saturday, hosting LaSalle at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 8:30 ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES

No. 19 Kentucky 92, Winthrop 47 – FINAL

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 3-1 this season, while Winthrop is 0-4.
    • This was the third all-time meeting between Kentucky and Winthrop in women’s basketball.
    • Kentucky leads the all-time series 3-0.
  • Kentucky is in its 48th season with a 866-558 (.608) all-time record.
  • The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 13 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches’ Top 25.
  • Kyra Elzy is in her second season as the head coach of the Wildcats, holding a 21-10 overall record.
    • Elzy is 14-2 at home, including a 12-2 record inside Memorial Coliseum and 2-0 mark inside Rupp Arena.
    • Elzy is 8-0 at home against a non-conference opponent with all seven wins coming in Memorial Coliseum.
  • Kentucky is 503-178 all-time at home. UK is 472-161 at Memorial Coliseum and 30-19 at Rupp Arena.
    • The losses are off by two because UK has played two games inside those two venues that are not allowed to be considered “home games” per NCAA Tournament rules.
  • Kentucky will be back in action next Saturday vs. La Salle inside Memorial Coliseum. The game will tip at 8:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ and the UK Sports Network.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky used the starting combination of senior guards Jazmine Massengill, Robyn Benton and Rhyne Howard, junior forward Dre’una Edwards and sophomore wing Treasure Hunt.
    • UK is 2-1 this season with those starting five. In four games, UK has used two different starting combinations.
    • Treasure Hunt scored first for Kentucky in the game. It is the third time this season she has scored first.
    • Jada Walker was the first sub for Kentucky. It was the second time she has been the first Wildcat off the bench.
    • Kentucky won the opening tip with Dre’una Edwards in the center circle. UK is 3-1 this season when it wins the opening tip.
  • The Wildcats went on a 11-0 run towards the end of the first quarter to take a 25-6 lead with a minute and a half to go.
    • Winthrop answered, however, scoring the final eight points of the quarter, including two 3s to close the gap to 25-14 at the end of the first.
    • UK forced seven first-quarter turnovers and scored 11 points off those miscues.
    • The Wildcats had six offensive rebounds in the first quarter and scored 11 second-chance points.
  • UK scored seven of the first nine points of the second quarter to open the lead back up to 32-16 and forcing a WU timeout.
  • Kentucky outscored Winthrop 25-8 overall in the second quarter to grab a 50-22 lead at halftime.
    • UK outrebounded WU 26-16 in the first half and had a 23-3 advantage in second-chance points.
    • Thirteen of UK’s 20 first-half field goals were assisted.
    • UK went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter and had two runs of 10-0 or more in the first half.
  • Kentucky took control of the game by outscoring Winthrop 27-10 in the third quarter.
  • For the third time in four games, UK had over 50 points scored in the paint.
  • UK had 36 points off turnovers in the game, which was the second highest this season.
  • Kentucky’s 19 fast-break points was a season high for the Wildcats.
  • The Wildcats had 27 second-chance points, which was the second most this season.
  • UK hit 10 3-pointers in the game, which was a season high.
  • The 45-point margin of victory is the most for Kentucky this season.
  • Eight of the nine Wildcats that played in the game scored and had a rebound.

Player Notes

  • Senior guard Rhyne Howard recorded the third triple-double in program history with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
    • Howard joins an elite club with Leslie Nichols and Makayla Epps as the only two players to record triple-doubles in program history.
    • Makayla Epps had the last triple-double on Nov. 18, 2015 when she had 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds vs. Morehead State. Leslie Nichols had the first triple-double in program history with on Feb. 14, 1986 vs. UofL.
    • Howard hit a season-best four 3s in the game.
    • For her career, Howard has scored 1,735 career points sitting sixth in UK history in points scored. Howard needs 55 more points to tie Makayla Epps for fifth.
    • Howard ranks second in school history in career scoring average at 19.9, while she is seventh in field-goals made with 606, third in career 3s made with 223 and third in career 3-point field-goal percentage at 38.2. She is also fourth in UK history in steals per game at 2.356.
    • In 87 career games, Howard has …
      • Hit at least one 3 in 77 career games, including four times this season.
      • Made three or more 3s in 38 career games, including once this season.
      • Made five or more 3s in 12 career games.
      • Scored 10+ points in 78 career game, including four times this season.
      • Scored 15+ points in 63 career games, including four times this season.
      • Scored 20+ points in 47 career games, including three times this season.
      • Scored 25+ points in 26 career games.
      • Scored 30+ points in 7 career games.
      • Led UK in scoring in 56 career games, including twice this season.
      • Led UK in rebounding in 48 career games, including three times this season.
      • Led UK in assists in 32 career games, including three times this season.
      • Led UK in steals in 35 career games, including four times this season.
      • Led UK in blocks in 34 career games, including three times this season.
      • Has 19 career double-doubles, including two this season.
      • Has 1 triple double.
  • Redshirt junior forward Dre’una Edwards scored 20 points with seven rebounds in the game.
    • Edwards has scored 20 or more points in three of UK’s first four games.
    • Edwards had hit a 3-pointer in three games.
  • Senior guard Robyn Benton scored 14 points with three rebounds, two assists and five steals.
    • Benton has scored 10 or more points in every game this season.
    • Benton has hit a 3 in every game this season.
    • Her five steals were a season high.
    • It was the 32nd time in her collegiate career she has recorded two or more steals.
  • Freshman guard Jada Walker scored 10 points with three assists, three steals and three rebounds.
    • Walker hit two 3s in the game.
  • Sophomore wing Treasure Hunt scored 11 points with eight rebounds in the game, adding two assists.
    • Hunt has scored 10 or more points twice this season.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME QUOTES

Kentucky Head Coach Kyra Elzy

On Rhyne Howard’s triple-double…

“I’m so proud of Rhyne (Howard). You know, that’s just another accolade to add to the long list that she already has at the University of Kentucky, but that was big for her. I hope that’s a confidence builder for her. 22 points, 10 assists 10 rebounds, and she wanted them bad. I took her out I was going to rest her for a second. She’s like, ‘Coach, I only need two assist and two rebounds.’ I was like, ‘Well, you have about a minute and a half to get it done, so you better hurry.’ And she looked at Jazz, she was like ‘I’m coming right back to you with this three, you better hit it.’ So she was excited about it and something that was on her mind. I thought that made her play more aggressive today, which was good.”

On making adjustments at practice after Indiana…

“Well, one thing we worked on a lot was our transition offense and our half court execution. I thought today against the zone we moved the ball with quick shots. We made the zone shift from side to side, we got the ball to the nail. We created off the bounce, which opened open threes for us, and we hit 10 today so I’m proud of our execution and the way the team played like defensively tonight.”

 On the team’s defensive play…

“Yes, we forced 28 turnovers, so I thought we got our energy back, we got back in our press. For the most part, I thought we played extremely hard and disruptive and we’re going to have to continue to do that being an undersized team. We always want to go back, as a coach you always think about things that you can do better but I was proud of our energy today.”

On having five players in double figures…

“That we moved the ball today. We shared the ball, we didn’t become stagnant, which we have been doing. What we talked about in the pregame is score early. If we don’t have a layup let’s try to get five to six passes. Make the defense work. Break them down. When we move the ball and share the ball, that really puts us in great scoring position and glad to have five on the board. I was proud of Dre Edwards for bouncing back today. This was a big bounce back game. Robyn (Benton) and Jada (Walker) continue to be steady for us which is good.”

On what the team’s good three-point shooting can be attributed to…

“Well, I would say shot selection: wide open 3s versus contested 3s. Also, I thought we got some 3s in transition, which is hard to guard when you can get out and run, especially for Rhyne. They can’t trap her; they can’t ice her when we’re out in transition and we just kicked her open 3s for her. That’s an excellent shot, and she nailed them today, four for eight.”

On what the biggest point of emphasis is going to be in practice this week…

“Close outs. One-on-one defense, being able to contain the dribble for one to two dribbles and keeping somebody in front of us. I thought our help side was better today, but we still need to get the full rotation and finishing with a box out. You’re correct. As a coach you there’s always things that you see and you want to get better, but happy for the win. We’ll take them at all times, but you want to continue to grow.”

Kentucky Student-Athletes

10 Rhyne Howard, Senior, Guard

On clicking defensively…

“Just reading them I knew that playing the next play, seeing what they’re going to do and what they’re looking to do, just really locking in and playing some defense.”

 On what type of advice she has received from Mikayla Epps during her UK career…

“She would always tell me how good I am to her and how good she thinks I can be and just keeps encouraging me.”

 44 Dre’una Edwards, Redshirt Junior, Forward

On not playing down Winthrop in the first half…

“We were more focused on ourselves this game. Coming in after practice sessions, we had like almost a week to prepare, but we were doing it for us and we were worried about us. We knew what we had to do defensively and we’ve been working on it ever since (North) Alabama. We knew what we had to go in there and go do.”

 On if there was anything in particular that translated from a week of practice to on the court today…

“I would say our intensity. we’re intense in practice, we’ve been more hard on practice so that translated into the game.”

 #1 Robyn Benton, Senior, Guard

On if there was anything in particular that translated from a week of practice to on the court today…

“We definitely worked hard on ball screens at practice and had been emphasizing that a lot. We did a good job today.”

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