all scores

Rhyne Howard named AP First-Team All-American for the third time

Kentucky star Rhyne Howard was named SEC tournament MVP. (Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kentucky senior guard Rhyne Howard is an AP First Team All-American for the third time in her career, making her just the ninth women’s basketball player to ever earn first-team honors for a third time.

“That’s huge,” Howard said. “Definitely selective company. To be a three-time, and one of nine, now that’s something you had to work for. I don’t know how to explain it. I was glad I was able to accomplish that.”

Howard had a standout season for Kentucky, averaging 20.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals during the regular season and helping the Wildcats upset South Carolina for the SEC tournament title.

The last player to earn three-time All-American status was Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu.

The team was announced Wednesday and also includes South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith, Michigan’s Naz Hillmon and Stanford’s Haley Jones. Both Hillmon and Jones tied for the fifth spot, marking the first time that there has ever been a tie for AP All-American.

Boston, Clark and Smith were all unanimous choices.

South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson, Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw, Duke’s Alana Beard, Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris, and UConn’s Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore are also on the list of players to earn first-team honors at least three times. Boston has a chance to earn a third honor next year.

Boston has been a dominant force all season long for South Carolina, who spent the entire season atop the AP Poll and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Both she and Clark, who became the first women’s player to lead the country in both scoring and assists, are up for National Player of the Year. Clark averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists, helping Iowa win both the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships.

It’s Smith’s second consecutive first-team honors. The senior forward averaged 22.5 points and 11.5 rebounds to help the Bears win a 12th consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship.

Hillmon is the first Michigan player to earn first-team honors, one year after being named to the second team. Jones, who won Most Outstanding Player of last year’s Final Four, averaged 13.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Howard, Clark, Boston and Smith were all named to the preseason All-America team. UConn’s Paige Bueckers was named to the preseason team but missed two months with a knee injury and earned honorable mention honors. It’s the first time since 2007 that the AP All-America team does not feature a player from UConn.