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Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard highlights AP All-American team

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Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard (10) drives towards the basket while guarded by South Carolina guard Brea Beal (12) during the SEC women's basketball championship game in Nashville, Tenn. on Sunday, March 6, 2022.Sec Sc KySyndication The Tennessean
Credit: Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard was named an Associated Press First Team All-American for the third time on Wednesday when the entity released its annual team.

The other first-team choices were South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith, Michigan’s Naz Hillmon and Stanford’s Haley Jones.

Howard is the ninth player to be a first-team choice at least three times. The others are Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson, Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw, Duke’s Alana Beard, Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris and the UConn duo of Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore.

Moore and Paris were first-team choices on four occasions.

Howard averaged 20.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals for the Wildcats (19-11), who won their first Southeastern Conference tournament crown since 1982.

“Rhyne Howard is the best player in women’s college basketball and completely worthy of being a three-time, first-team AP All-American,” Wildcats coach Kyra Elzy said on the school’s website. “She is the most versatile player I have ever coached. What sets her apart from everyone else is that she can play every position on the floor and be offensively and defensively exceptional at each.

“Her legacy at Kentucky is unmatched and we are so proud of all she has accomplished.”

While Howard was not unanimously voted to the first team, Boston, Clark and Smith all were. And Hillmon and Jones tied for votes for the final fifth spot on the First Team.

Named to the Second Team were Kansas State’s Ayoka Lee, Iowa State’s Ashley Joens, DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow, LSU’s Khayla Pointer and N.C. State’s Elissa Cunane.

Selected to the Third Team were Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley, Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist, Northwestern’s Veronica Burton, Stanford’s Cameron Brink and Maryland’s Angel Reese.

UConn’s Paige Bueckers, the National Player of the Year last season, was an honorable mention choice despite missing 2 1/2 months due to a knee injury.

Maryland and South Carolina each had three players receive votes — tied for the most of any team this year. In addition to Reese’s Third Team nod, Katie Benzan and Ashley Owusu were honorable mentions for the Terps. And for the Gamecocks, in addition to Boston’s First Team selection, Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson were honorable mentions.

–Field Level Media