Sunday, March 8th marks International Women’s Day 2020, and the University of Kentucky has plenty to celebrate. It’s been another big year for the ladies of the BBN.
Here are just a few of the women leading the charge for the Wildcats.
Rhyne Howard, basketball
Howard has been dominant for the Wildcats all season, and she’s not showing any signs of slowing down now. In her sophomore season for Kentucky, she’s leading the Wildcats and ranking third nationally with 23.4 points per game. Howard’s scoring average is the most for a UK player under Matthew Mitchell and the fourth-best average in program history. The guard also leads UK with 6.5 rebounds per game.
Her accolades so far this season are incredible: Howard was recently named the SEC Player of the Year and was tabbed to the All-SEC First Team and SEC All-Defensive Team. Her name also appears on nearly every national player of the year watch list.
Just this weekend, Howard shined in both of Kentucky’s games at the SEC Tournament, scoring 24 points in the Wildcats’ quarterfinal win against Tennessee and 26 points against Mississippi State in the team’s loss in the semifinals on Saturday. These efforts were enough to solidify her place on the 2020 All-SEC Tournament Team.
Mollie Korth, Gymnastics
The senior gymnast is an eight-time All-American and a three-time All-SEC selection. Korth helped lead her fellow seniors to their title of the all-time highest-scoring senior class in program history this season.
“Mollie came in immediately… and after six workouts was competing and has had a major impact from day one,” Head Coach Tim Garrison said. “There have been a lot of people [at UK] that have been great by the end of their careers, but she was great from day one and I think that’s what sets her apart. She’s been great for her entire career without any letup at all. Start to finish, critical to the rise of the program.”
— Kentucky Gymnastics (@UKGymnastics) March 6, 2020
She will leave UK as perhaps the most-decorated Kentucky gymnast since three-time national champion Jenny Hansen was a Wildcat in the 1990s.
“The team has grown and gotten better over the years. We owe it a lot to the coaches and staff and the rest of the girls who work hard in and out of the gym,” Korth said. “For my legacy, I just want people to remember my name and what I’ve done for this program.”
Leah Edmond, Volleyball
Edmond has become a familiar face to the BBN due, in part, to her long-term relationship with Nick Richards and her involvement in the Pick Nick campaign. However, Edmond’s own athletic accomplishments are more than deserving of their own recognition and catchy slogan. This year, the Lexington native became the first Kentucky volleyball player to be named a four-time All-American, as she was voted a first teamer for the second time in her career.
Also on her list of accomplishments? The 2019 SEC Player of the Year, the AVCA Southeast Region Player of the Year, a four-time SEC Player of the Week, one AVCA National Player of the Week and a three-time SEC champion. She averaged 4.42 kills and 2.23 digs per set.
In the wise words of Richards himself… Legend.
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Mary Tucker, Rifle
She’s only a freshman, but Mary Tucker is already making waves with the UK rifle team. At the end of February, Tucker was named the Great American Rifle Conference’s Shooter of the Year and the GARC Rookie of the Year.
Tucker is one of just three shooters in the NCAA this season to post a smallbore score of 593 or above, and she boasts the NCAA’s top score in the discipline at 595. Tucker has been just as impressive in air rifle, becoming one of just four athletes to score a 599 or better. There have been nine individual aggregate scores in the NCAA this season at 1190 or above – Tucker earned seven of those nine marks.
If those numbers don’t quite make sense to you, how about this? Tucker has already clinched her spot as one of just two women in the nation to compete for Team USA in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Her impressive performance at part II of the Air Rifle Olympic Trials in Colorado placed her on the team, alongside fellow wildcat Will Shaner, a sophomore on the men’s rifle team.
She’ll be in action right here in Lexington soon, as the program is hosting the NCAA Rifle Championships for the first time in program history this March. Click here for more information on how you can cheer on the Cats in Memorial Coliseum.
History. Tradition. Passion.
— UK Rifle (@UKRifle) February 20, 2020
Alex Martens, Softball
Just yesterday, the senior’s two three-run home runs helped erase Kentucky’s 8-1 third-inning deficit. Martens’ momentum helped the No. 10 Kentucky softball team rally to score the final seven runs of the game and beat Texas A&M, 11-9.
The Wildcats are currently tabbed as the nation’s No. 1 statistical offense, and UK leads the country in runs scored, runs per game and extra-base hits. In addition to Martens, who is currently the national leader in RBI’s, the Wildcats also have America’s national home run leader, Mallory Peyton, and the NCAA’s leader in triples, Kayla Kowalik, on the roster.
Crusheddddd by Alex. pic.twitter.com/mGLicyymnA
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) March 7, 2020
Keep your eye on this team this season. They’re here to make some noise.
Shoutout to all of the incredible ladies of the BBN, and enjoy the rest of International Women’s Day!