University of Kentucky forward Rhyne Howard regained her shooting touch after one cold game and led Team USA into the semifinals of the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup on Friday with an 81-46 win over Canada at Bangkok, Thailand.
Howard, the United States’ leading scorer in the tournament, led the way again with 14 points, making six of eight shots from the field, including two of her three attempts from three-point range. Howard did all of her damage in 16 minutes of action, also securing three rebounds and two steals.
In the United States’ round-of-16 win over Germany on Wednesday, Howard was 0-for-5 from three and 3-for-13 overall.
For the tournament, the 6-foot-2 sophomore-to-be is averaging 13.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. She has made 13 of 28 three-point attempts for 46 percent.
On Friday, the U.S. (5-0 in the tournament) led 26-9 after one quarter and was never threatened by the Canadians (3-2).
“Canada is a good team and we knew that they were going to be aggressive, so we wanted to throw the first punch and keep it going while we had the momentum,” Howard told USA Basketball after scoring nine of her points in the first quarter.
Team USA, coached by the University of Louisville’s Jeff Walz, moves on to Saturday’s semifinals, where it will play Belgium, which advanced Friday with a 63-43 win over Japan. Saturday’s other semifinal pits Spain (5-0) against Australia (4-1).
The U.S. and Belgium (5-0) meet at 7:30 p.m. in Bangkok on Saturday (7:30 a.m. EDT).