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Rhyne Howard scored game-high 32 points with seven rebounds and three assists


Kentucky Head Coach Kyra Elzy

Kentucky Guard Rhyne Howard

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Rhyne Howard scored 32 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but the 10th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team fell to No. 5 South Carolina 75-70 on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.

Kentucky (9-3, 2-2 SEC) got 12 points and seven rebounds from Dre’una Edwards and 12 points from Chasity Patterson.

The Cats forced 18 South Carolina turnovers and turned those into 22 points. But the Gamecocks dominated the rebounding battle, grabbing 46 compared to just 31 for the Cats. South Carolina had 23 second-chance points, compared to just 10 for Kentucky and the Gamecocks had 56 points in the paint, compared to just 34 for the Cats.

For Howard, it was the second time that she has scored at least 30 points in a game this season and the fifth time in her UK career. Howard moved into 17th place on UK’s career scoring list on Sunday, passing Belitta Croley, Kristi Cushenberry and Taylor Murray. Howard now has 1,362 points in her three-year UK career.

After the teams combined to miss their first eight shots, five by Kentucky and three by South Carolina, the Gamecocks got on the board on a Victaria Saxton layup. Kentucky answered with a Howard driving layup, and a free throw, to take a 3-2 lead. After a South Carolina basket, Kentucky got a Patterson layup to take a 5-4 lead.

South Carolina would score four in a row, taking an 8-5 lead in the process. But Howard would score six straight for the Cats as UK took an 11-8 lead with 4:05 left in the first. Those were the first points in a 14-4 run that gave Kentucky a 19-12 advantage. UK would lead 19-15 after one period.

South Carolina scored the first three points of the second quarter to cut the UK lead to 19-18. But the Cats answered with a three from Blair Green and a jumper from Howard to lead 24-18. After South Carolina got within two, 24-22, the Cats went on a 7-2 run to take a 31-24 lead with 3:37 left in the period.

The Gamecocks then went on a 7-2 run of their own to cut the UK advantage to 33-31 with 2:09 left in the half. But the Cats closed the quarter on an 8-1 run, including the final six points of the half, to grab a 41-32 lead at the break. Howard led all scorers with 19 points at the break.

South Carolina started the second half with an 8-2 run to cut the UK lead to 43-40 with 7:20 left in the third. Kentucky then scored five of the next six, including a three-point play by Howard, to stretch the advantage to 48-41.

Kentucky would lead 56-48 late in the third before South Carolina scored the final nine points of the period to take a 57-56 into the final 10 minutes.

Howard scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to give UK a 58-57 lead but South Carolina would run off eight straight points to grab a 65-58 advantage with 7:21 to go, forcing a Kentucky timeout.

Kentucky got a basket from Howard out of the timeout, but South Carolina got four points in a row from Destanni Henderson to grab their biggest lead of the game, 69-60, with 4:29 to play.

The Cats would not go away, especially Patterson. The senior guard from Houston scored eight points in a row, including back-to-back three-pointers, to cut the deficit to 69-68 with 2:31 to play. The Cats would have a chance to take the lead on their next possession, but Howard missed an open three from the top of the key.

South Carolina stretched the lead to 73-70 on a LeLe Grissett layup with 1:54 to play but Howard got the Cats back within one, 71-70, on a pair of free throws with 1:30 to play.

After South Carolina missed a pair of free throws with 25 seconds to play, the Cats had a chance to tie. Howard’s off-balance three missed, as did Edwards’ put back attempt and the Gamecocks got the rebound.

South Carolina’s Zia Cooke was fouled with 10.3 seconds left and made both free throws to give the Gamecocks a 75-70 advantage. That would be the final score.

Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, visiting Auburn for an SEC contest. The game is set to tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on the SEC Network.

For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit or follow @KentuckyWBB on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.




No. 10 Rhyne Howard, G, Jr.

On the difference between the first half and the second half…

“They definitely just outplayed us. You know, we stopped playing defense, we stopped playing Kentucky defense like we did in the first half, and they just kept driving it down our throats, and we couldn’t stop it.”

On how Aliyah Boston has progressed since last season…

“She definitely came out looking to play smarter because she did pick up two quick fouls in the first half, so she just continued to be a big body down there, which they need, and just, and I heard her telling her teammates a lot of stuff, so she was being a leader on the floor, so, I didn’t hear that last year from her.”

On beginning the conference season playing all of the ranked teams…

“Um, we learned that we can definitely compete with these teams. But, the margin of error, day-in and day-out, is very small, so we have to make sure that we’re on top of things, and we have to make sure that we’re on the same page in order to get the wins that we need.”

On struggling from the 3-point line the last few games…

Um, I don’t think that there is anything wrong. I think they’re just not falling. We do get a look of good looks, and we take a lot of 3s throughout the game. So, they’ll start falling, I guess we’re just in a slump right now.”

On losing back-to-back games and how the team will handle it going forward…

“We’re definitely going to come together and bounce back. We’re not going to dwell on it too long. We’re going to go over the mistakes that we made and how we can improve on them, but we’re going to go over what we did right so we can continue to do it right, so we’ll be back next game.”

On if you’re the best player in women’s college basketball…

“Uh, personally, I do think I am the best in women’s college basketball and I also think that I have proven it to everyone over these last couple of games.”

Head Coach Kyra Elzy

On beginning the conference season playing all of the ranked teams…

“Well, I love the resilience of this team. We play together. We are tough. We have heart. What I told the players, you know, our margin of error is just so small. So, for three-and-a-half quarters against South Carolina tonight, against A&M, we played high caliber basketball. However, the small mental lapses cost us, and great teams expose you, so in order for us to take that next level, we have to be able to play for 40 minutes.”

On the positives from the game that will help you down the road…

“Well, the positives that we can takeaway, you know, we came here to win. We talked about that pregame. We were not going to play afraid. We were not going to play aggressive. Majority of the game, we did do that. Rhyne Howard continued to show why she is the best player, but you know, I like what we did offensively. We pushed the tempo. We played out of the ball screen extremely well. Rhyne hit some shots, but I thought we kept our offensive moving. We executed our offense a lot better today than we did at A&M, which is a positive. You know, even our one-on-one defense early, I thought we did some good things, forced them to take some tough shots. So, what we can take away from this, we are a very talented team. We have the pieces, we have a chance to really take this team to the next level. There are small things that we have to fix.”

On if it puts pressure on Rhyne Howard when other players aren’t making shots…

“Well, that’s the thing about having depth. So, Rhyne Howard, who obviously was scoring, but Dre’una Edwards who has not been playing well, I thought she came in and made some big plays. So, we have people that can score. So, I’m not worried about our scoring. We have playmakers on the floor, and it might be different people every game, and that is ok. Right now, I am more disappointed in our transition defense. We really didn’t step up as a guard unite, get the ball stopped, but once again, we are a work in progress and we have to go back to work. Unfortunately, it cost us tonight, along with offensive rebounds, but this is how you grow. You continue to learn, grow, get better and move forward.”

On if you’re disappointed no charges were taken…

“Well, of course we’re disappointed, we didn’t get the stops on the end. Like I said, South Carolina, a great team, our margin of error is so small, so the defensive fundamentals, one-on-one defense, building a wall when we help over, we have to take the charge instead of trying to block the shot, help the helper, but we’ll continue to get better. But make no mistake about it. We came here with the intensity that we needed, and we did fight. We don’t believe in moral victories. We have the intention, every time we take the floor, to win. But there are things that we have to do consistently for 40 minutes, and one of those things in transition defense and boxing out.”

On having someone like Rhyne Howard and how well the transfers are doing…

“I mean, it’s great to have Rhyne Howard. A lot of coaches would love to have Rhyne Howard. Um, she is a bucket getter, however, I will say this again, she can fill up a stat sheet. So, she does score, but she can rebound, she got down and played defense tonight, and her ability to create shots for others, I want to make sure people don’t miss that. And then, our transfers have been huge for us. Robyn Benton didn’t necessarily shoot the ball well tonight, but she came hard defensively, she came up with some steals, she will go get you some rebounds. Jazmine Massengill is another athletic guard that is big, a high basketball IQ, she hit some crucial buckets for us today as well. Olivia Owens, they just give us depth, so she is willing to come in, bang, get offensive rebounds, gives us some size in the post, so we’re going to need all three of those to help take us where we’re trying to go.”

On Dre’una Edwards’ improvement tonight…

“Well, she came in and watched film. Dre was pressing. She was trying to play extremely fast offensively, so she had the turnovers, and then it became mental, so she went back to the fundamentals, went back to the practice court, worked on her shots, slowing down, but majority of it is just mental, knowing that she can score when she needs to. But, we just try to bring her off the bench today, take the focus off just scoring every time the ball touches her hands, so we talked to her about going to get offensive rebounds, playing as hard as she can play, and allow herself to score within the offense and she did that tonight.”

On if the last possession was scripted…

“Well, we actually were going to go for a quick two. However,, you know, I trust Rhyne. She has great instincts and play off of it. If she’s open, I give her the freedom to make that read take that shot, and we can live with that shot.”



No. 10 Kentucky 70, No. 5 South Carolina 75 – FINAL

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 9-3, 2-2 in the SEC on the year, while South Carolina is 8-1, 3-0 in the league. 
    • This was Kentucky’s fourth straight game against a top-12 opponent. It is the first time in program history that UK has had four straight games against top-12 teams.
    • The Wildcats are one of two teams in the league currently scheduled to play four straight games against top-15 teams with LSU being the other.
    • This was the second straight game that UK has played a league opponent that has played fewer league games. The same will be the case Thursday at Auburn as well.
  • This was the 68th all-time meeting between Kentucky and South Carolina in women’s basketball. This was the fourth meeting between the two teams with both ranked in the AP Top 10.
    • The all-time series in games played in tied 34-34.
    • Kentucky leads the all-time series in games played in Lexington, 20-11.
    • Kentucky has now lost six straight home games to the Gamecocks.
    • South Carolina is now 4-0 in games where both teams are ranked in the top-10 of the AP poll.
  • Kyra Elzy is in her first season as interim head coach at Kentucky.
    • Elzy is now 9-3 as head coach of Kentucky. 
  • UK is now 854-551 all-time in its 47th year of varsity women’s basketball.
  • The Wildcats are 468-160 all-time in Memorial Coliseum, including a 7-1 record this season.
    • This was Kentucky’s first home loss since falling to South Carolina last season on Feb. 23, 2020.
  • Kentucky is ranked No. 10 in the latest AP Top 25 and No. 8 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25.
    • UK is 3-3 this season against ranked teams, defeating then-No. 13 Indiana, No. 12 Mississippi State and No. 10 Arkansas.
    • The other losses have been at No. 24 DePaul and at No. 8 Texas A&M.
  • The Wildcats will return to action Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET at Auburn. The game will be televised on SEC Network.
  • In Kentucky’s three losses this season, the Wildcats have led by at least seven each time.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky used the starting combination of senior guard Chasity Patterson, senior forward KeKe McKinney, junior guards Blair Green and Rhyne Howard, and sophomore forward Olivia Owens.
    • This was the first time this season that UK has used this starting combination. UK is 0-0 with this starting combination.
    • Rhyne Howard scored first for Kentucky in the game – the team-leading fourth time this season she has been the first Wildcat to score.
    • Robyn Benton was the first subs for Kentucky – it was the team-leading eighth time Benton has been the first sub for UK.  
    • South Carolina won the tip, marking the ninth time this season that UK has lost the opening tip.
  • Kentucky scored 19 first-quarter points, including 14 in the paint.
    • Both teams combined for 28 paint points in the first quarter out of the 34 total points scored.
    • Neither team hit a 3 in the first quarter, going a combined 0-for-4.
  • The Wildcats held a 41-32 lead at halftime thanks to 15 points off turnovers and 19 first-half points from Howard.
    • Howard went 8-of-13 from the field in the first half with four rebounds, two steals, a steal and an assist.
    • Kentucky ended the second quarter on a 6-0 run.
  • South Carolina started the third quarter with a 8-2 run forcing two UK turnovers in the opening minutes of the quarter.
  • The Gamecocks ended the third quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 57-56 lead into the fourth quarter. It was their first lead in the game since 8-7 in the first quarter.
    • South Carolina outscored Kentucky 25-15 in the third quarter.
    • USC was 10-of-20 from the field, forced four turnovers and had a 15-3 rebounding edge in the quarter.
  • Howard ended the run at the start of the fourth quarter with a jumper, but South Carolina followed with a 8-0 run to take control of the game and would never look back.
  • South Carolina outscored Kentucky by 14 points in the second half.
  • UK went just 5-of-22 from the field in the fourth quarter, including missing each of its last six shots.
  • Kentucky hit just three 3s in the game, which was a season-low in 3-point makes for the Wildcats.
  • UK had not scored less than 30 points in a second half of a game prior to scoring 29 each of the last two second halves at TAMU and today vs. South Carolina.

Player Notes

  • Junior guard Rhyne Howard scored a 32 points, going 13-of-25 from the field with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
    • Howard has made 182 career 3s, which ranks fourth most in school history.
    • Howard has 1,362 career points as a Wildcat, which ranks her 17th all-time in scoring at UK.
      • Howard needs 71 more points to tie Jodie Whitaker for 16th all-time.
    • In 69 career games, Howard has …
      • Scored 10+ points in 61 career games, including nine times this season.
      • Scored 15+ points in 50 career games, including seven times this season.
      • Scored 20+ points in 36 career games, including five this season.
      • Scored 25+ points in 20 career games, including twice this season.
      • Scored 30+ points in 4 career games, including twice this season.
      • Led UK in scoring in 43 career games, including five times this season.
  • Junior guard Robyn Benton had a season-high five steals in the game.
  • Sophomore forward Dre’una Edwards scored 12 points with seven rebounds.
    • Edwards has scored 10 or more points eight games this season.
  • Senior guard Chasity Patterson scored 12 points with a team-best four assists adding two 3s.
    • Patterson has led UK in assists in five games.

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