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Rhyne Howard and Team USA Win Gold Medal at U19 FIBA Women’s World Cup

(Photo via USAB.com)

(Photo via USAB.com)

If Rhyne Howard isn’t winning some sort of high-profile award at least once a month, did that month really happen?

After Howard led Team USA to a gold medal at the U19 FIBA Women’s World Cup on Sunday morning in Thailand, we can officially say that July of 2019 did, in fact, happen.

The US needed overtime to take down Australia in the final game but ultimately came out victorious with a 74-70 win and a shiny gold medal to complement the achievement. The win marks USA’s eighth gold medal in the U19 Women’s World Cup.

Howard added 10 points for the US after leading the team in scoring in the semifinal matchup against Belgium, where she poured in 14 points. Against Australia, she struggled from the field, shooting a mere 3-13 overall and 2-7 from deep. However, she played a team-high 38 minutes while pulling in seven boards and dishing out three dimes in addition to two steals and a block.

Team USA was down by three with 14 seconds left before an elbow from an Australian player connected with Howard’s face, leading to an unsportsmanlike foul and free throws for the US. Caitlin Clark would make one out of two free throws for the US followed by a Hailey Van Lith made-layup with 12.5 seconds left. They would outscore Australia 8-4 in the extra period.

In the semifinal game against Belgium on Saturday, Team USA was trailing by one with a little under three minutes left before Howard drilled a triple coming off a screen to put her team up two. Belgium would not score again and lost the game by eight.

Both Howard and US teammate Paige Bueckers was named to the All-U19 World Cup Team. Bueckers was also named Tournament MVP.

Howard will now return to the states with another piece of hardware to add to her collection. The rising sophomore has big expectations for the upcoming season as a Wildcat and after thriving on the international stage, I’d say she’s eager to attack the challenge. Get ready to familiarize Rhyne Howard as a household name.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR