Howard’s record performance leads Cats past Auburn

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Box Score LEXINGTON, Ky. – All-American Rhyne Howard set a school-record eight three-pointers in its final home game en route to a season-high 32 points as the Kentucky women’s basketball team beat Auburn 90-62 on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.

Howard started fast, scoring 16 points in the first period and 24 in the first half. For the game, she shot 11 of 20 from the field, including eight of 13 from behind the arc and two of three at the line en route to 32 points. It was the second time this season and the ninth time in his career that Howard had scored at least 30 points.

Howard’s big game overshadowed the big efforts of some of her teammates. Dre’una Edwards had 25 points and seven rebounds in the win, while freshman Jada Walker had 15 points and nine rebounds, a career high.

Kentucky (15-11, 8-8 SEC) went 32 of 63 (50.8%) from the floor, including 10 of 20 (50%) from behind the arc in the game, which was the sixth straight win from the United Kingdom. Auburn made just 21 of 72 shots (29.2%), including just two of nine (22.2%) from long range.

The Cats’ bench outscored Auburn’s reserves 34-10, while Kentucky also held a 15-11 advantage in quick break points.

Kentucky started fast, hitting its first three shots, all from long range, to take a 9-4 lead less than two minutes into the game. Howard hit the first two, followed by a three-way corner from Jada Walker. Auburn would score the next four points to cut the UK lead to one forward Nyah Leveretter hit a pair of free throws to give Kentucky an 11-8 lead with 6:47 left in the first.

After Auburn was again within a point, 11-10, Howard scored five in a row to extend the lead to 16-10. A lay-up from Edwards, on a nice pass from Jazmine Massengill, built the lead to 18-10. Auburn would cut the United Kingdom lead to six, 18-12, before Kentucky got baskets from Howard and Edwards to take a 22-12 advantage. Behind 16 points from Howard, the Cats would lead 30-15 after one period of play.

Kentucky continued to take the lead early in the second period. The Cats started the stanza on a 10-3 streak, including eight in a row, to lead 40-18. Auburn would cut the lead to 19 at 43-24 before the UK were awarded a free kick from Treasure hunt and Howard’s sixth threes in the first half to cut the lead to 47-24. The Cats led 47-26 at the break.

Howard’s six threes in the first half set a school record for three-pointers in a half. The senior had 24 points in the first half, while Edwards quietly had 11.

Auburn cut the United Kingdom lead early in the third period to 51-33 before Kentucky went on an 11-0 run to increase the lead to 62-33. Howard had five points in the rush, including his seventh three-pointer of the game.

The Tigers would score four of the next six runs, but Kentucky would pull out late in the third period. The Cats went on an 11-1 run to take a 75-38 lead with 44 seconds left in third. Great Britain led 75-40 after three periods.

In the fourth quarter, Kentucky would extend the lead to 39 before settling for the 28-point victory.

Kentucky’s next game is in the SEC tournament, which begins Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Kentucky will be the seventh seed in the event and will play around 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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