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Rick Nixon | | February 20, 2019

Kentucky's Rhyne Howard's record-setting season continues with a spot on the women's basketball starting five

Kentucky Athletics Kentucky women's basketball's Rhyne Howard won her seventh SEC freshmen of the week award.

The Starting Five honors a starting lineup of players from around the country who enjoyed standout performances for that week. Here are the starters for the week of Feb. 13-19.

Bella Alarie, Princeton

Bella Alarie of Princeton continued her hot streak, averaging 30.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals in two games as the Tigers defeated Harvard and Dartmouth to move into second-place in the Ivy League standings.

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Alarie recorded 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and four blocks in a 75-71 victory over Harvard, and then totaled 41 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and one steal to help Princeton hold off Dartmouth.  The 41-point effort marked her third 35-plus scoring performance in her last six games, and her second surpassing 40.  During a 2:32 stretch of the contest vs. the Big Green, Alarie registered 13 straight points for the Tigers as they rallied from 16 down to win.

In just 13 games since returning from injury, Alarie has scored over 300 points and is 78 points away from matching her career-high of 399, set last year in 30 games.

The 2018 Ivy Player of the Year, Alarie is one of two players in Ivy League history to score 40 points or more in a game twice (Diana Caramanico, Penn, 1999, 2001).  She has three of the four best single-game point totals in program history.

In 13 games this season, the Bethesda, Md., native has posted eight double-doubles, giving her 28 in 73 career contests (38.3 percent). She's averaging 24.7 points on 52.0 percent shooting, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.2 blocks per game. The last person to average a double-double for an entire campaign was Ellen DeVoe in 1984-85.

Princeton, 13-9 overall and 5-2 in Ivy play, next takes on Cornell (Feb. 22) and Columbia (Feb. 23) at home in Jadwin Gym this weekend.

Brenna Chase, Brigham Young

Junior guard Brenna Chase was a difference maker for Brigham Young as the Cougars swept a pair of West Coast Conference road games at Portland and Gonzaga, with Chase recording back-to-back double-doubles.
In the 70-69 win at Portland on Feb. 14, Chase scored a team-best 24 points, that included a career-best seven 3-pointers, while adding a game-high four steals and seven rebounds. The 7 of 11 shooting from 3-point range are a season and career best for Chase.
In the 66-64 upset win over No. 13 ranked Gonzaga in Spokane, Chase made four treys on her way to tallying 14 points, a game-best five assists along with three rebounds, two blocks, and two assists.  This is the first time since BYU joined the WCC that it has swept the season series against the Bulldogs and the first time the Cougars have won in Spokane under head coach Jeff Judkins.

Chase finished the week with 38 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, and six steals while averaging 19 points, five rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.5 blocks.  She shot 40.6 percent from the field, 61.1 percent from behind the arc and 50 percent from the free-throw line.

BYU, 20-6 overall and 12-3 in the WCC, returns to action on Feb. 23 at San Diego.

Braydey Hodgins, Boise State

Boise State junior guard Braydey Hodgins averaged 21.5 points in wins over Fresno State and San Diego State this past week, scoring 21 and 22, respectively, to run her streak of 20-point games to four. That run makes Hodgins the first Bronco since Kati Isham from Dec. 5-20, 2010, to score at least 20 points in four consecutive games.

Hodgins opened this week with 21 points and four 3-pointers in Wednesday's 83-76 win over Fresno State and followed with a strong all-around line of 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting (4-for-7 from 3-point range), five assists, five steals, and four rebounds in Saturday's 91-67 victory over San Diego State.

The wins improved Boise State to 21-3 overall and 12-1 in Mountain West play, extending the Broncos' lead atop the conference standings to two games. Boise State's 21-3 record also matches the 1974-75 squad as the best 24-game start in program history, and with five regular-season games and at least one conference tournament game still to play, this year's team is well within range of the 2016-17 team's program-record 25 wins.

This week's performance was the latest to highlight Hodgins' career year, as the Pasco, Wash. native leads the Broncos with 12.3 points per game, is shooting 44.6 percent from the field, and leads the Broncos with 55 3-pointers made at a 44.7-percent clip.

Boise State will return to play on Feb. 23 at Utah State.

Emese Hof, Miami (FL)

Emese Hof led Miami to its biggest regular-season win in program history in its lone game last week, a 79-73 triumph on the road at then-second-ranked Louisville Sunday afternoon.

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A senior forward/center from Utrecht, Netherlands, Hof led all players with 25 points, tying her season high and setting a personal best in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play. She also logged ACC career highs in made field goals (10) and assists (five), while matching her top mark in steals (three).

Hof added a co-team-high seven rebounds and committed zero turnovers for the Hurricanes, who rallied from a 14-point second-quarter deficit to defeat the Cardinals. She scored 18 of her points after halftime, including 12 in the final period alone.

For the season, Hof is second on the Hurricanes averaging 14.3 points per game while pulling down a team-best 8.6 rebounds per game.

Winners of four straight games in ACC play and now ranked No. 14 in The Associated Press' women's college basketball poll released on Monday, Miami, 22-5, 10-2 ACC, will continue its road trip this week, playing a third consecutive road game at Virginia Tech on Feb. 21 in Blacksburg, Va. 

Rhyne Howard, Kentucky

One of the top freshmen in the nation, Rhyne Howard led Kentucky with 18 points and 14 rebounds in the Wildcats 61-59 win over Arkansas, highlighted by Howard hitting the game-winning jumper with three seconds remaining and then getting a game-clinching steal on Arkansas’ final possession.

She is the first Kentucky player to hit a last-second shot to win a game since Makayla Epps in 2017 vs. Mississippi State.  Her 14 rebounds were the second most in a game this season and helped her earn her fifth double-double of the season. Her 18 points moved her up to third all-time in program history in scoring for a freshman while she continues to increase the school record for most 3-pointers by a freshman to 63. Howard has 15 or more points in 20 games this season and had led the Wildcats in scoring 13 times and in rebounds 14 times. She has hit three or more 3s in three straight games and has three or more assists in nine of her 11 Southeastern Conference games played.

With 2:10 left, Maci Morris knocked down a pair of free throws, giving Kentucky a 57-53 edge. But Arkansas' Chelsea Dungee scored on the other end, cutting the lead to 57-55 with 1:55 left in the game. But on the ensuing possession, Kentucky missed two shots but got two offensive rebounds before Howard converted a putback, making it 59-55 with 1:05 to play.

Dungee then hit one of two at the line, cutting the lead to 59-56. Kentucky had chances to put the game away, but the Cats missed four straight at the line before seeing Arkansas' Raven Northcross-Baker hit a three from the corner to tie the game at 59 apiece with 22 seconds left.

After a Kentucky timeout, Howard milked the clock before driving into the lane and hitting the jumper that would ultimately win the game. Arkansas had one final possession, but Howard intercepted an Arkansas inbound pass to seal the victory.

Howard leads Kentucky, 21-5 overall and 8-4 in the SEC, in both scoring (16.8 points per game) and rebounding (6.9 rebounds).  The Wildcats will next travel to play South Carolina on Feb. 21.

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