Rhyne Howard, who will be a freshman at Kentucky this fall, helped the United States advance to the semifinals of the FIBA Americas U18 Championship on Sunday in Mexico City.
Howard, a 6-foot-2 guard, scored eight points to go with six rebounds and four assists in the Americans’ 87-82 victory against El Salvador.
Team USA, which held El Salvador to 14.3 percent from the field, will next face Puerto Rico or Columbia at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday.
Maori Davenport set a USA women’s U18 single-game record with six blocked shots while Howard added two.
“We played very well defensively in the second half,” said USA head coach Jeff Walz, who also leads the University of Louisville’s women’s program. “When you get leads to that amount, sometimes you can get sloppy, trying to come up with steals and trying to score, but I thought they a great job of focusing and staying disciplined.”
Olivia Nelson-Ododa led the U.S. in both scoring (14 points) and and rebounding (eight). Nazahrah Hillmon-Baker added 13 points and seven boards.
The Americans were in control throughout the contest and led 24-6 after the first 10 minutes.
“I think we executed well, and did everything Coach wanted us to,” Howard said. “It feels good (to be headed to the semifinals). It means that we are doing what we are supposed to do, and we’ve been preparing right and executing everything.”