UK Women's Basketball

Kentucky’s Howard helps U.S. to World Cup quarterfinals

University of Kentucky forward Rhyne Howard was named MVP of last summer’s U18 FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City. This summer, she’s part of Team USA’s U19 squad in the World Cup in Thailand.
University of Kentucky forward Rhyne Howard was named MVP of last summer’s U18 FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City. This summer, she’s part of Team USA’s U19 squad in the World Cup in Thailand. USA Basketball

University of Kentucky forward Rhyne Howard scored nine points as the United States turned back Germany 79-61 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the FIBA U19 World Cup in Bangkok,Thailand.

Howard, Team USA’s leading scorer in the tournament, had a rough shooting day in playing 24 minutes against the Germans.

Howard made three of 13 shots overall, including zero of five from three-point range. She added one rebound, an assist and a steal.

Texas freshman Celeste Taylor and UConn commitment Paige Bueckers led the U.S. with 13 points each.

The United States (4-0 in the tournament) will take on Canada (3-1) in Friday’s quarterfinals. The contest is set for 2:30 p.m. in Bangkok (3:30 a.m. EDT).

The other quarterfinal games are Mali (1-3) vs. Australia (3-1), China (3-1) vs. Spain (4-0) and Belgium (4-0) vs. Japan (3-1).

All games are televised live on YouTube.com/FIBA. All of Team USA’s games are shown live on Facebook.com/USABasketball.

Germany, which lost each of its three group-play games by seven points, led the U.S. 17-15 after one quarter and trailed 40-33 at halftime. Team USA put things out of reach by outscoring Germany 23-14 in the third quarter.

“I expected this to be a good ballgame,” said Louisville’s Jeff Walz, head coach of Team USA. “Germany’s a good team. ... They did a really nice job being physical with us, trying to dictate what they wanted to do in the first half instead of allowing us to dictate to them. ... Then we missed some shots and got a little lethargic because the ball wasn’t getting into the basket. That’s something we have to fix.”

Howard leads Team USA in scoring through the first four games, averaging 13.5 points. The Kentucky sophomore-to-be is also averaging 5.3 rebounds per contest.

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