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Recap: Led by a double-double from Rhyne Howard, No. 11 Kentucky cruises past No. 12 Texas A&M

Rhyne Howard had 24 points and 11 rebounds, captaining the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats past the No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies, 76-54. Texas A&M was without Chennedy Carter due to an ankle injury.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 23 Div I Women’s Championship - First Round - Princeton v Kentucky
When she shoots, often she scores. Rhyne Howard put in 24 points Thursday night, propelling her Kentucky Wildcats past Texas A&M.
Photo by Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chennedy Carter-Rhyne Howard duel was not to be. With Carter sidelined due to an ankle injury, the face-off between the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats and the No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies (14-3) was the Rhyne Howard Show.

Howard notched a double-double as the 15-2 Wildcats downed the 14-3 Aggies, 76-54.

Howard finished with 24 points, highlighted by 16 in the second half, and a season-high 11 rebounds. She also added a team-high four assists. The performance marked the seventh-straight game in which she has tallied at least 20 points.

Thursday night’s effort also allowed her to claim the national leading-scorer crown.

This superstar performance was complemented by some sharpshooting from the Howard’s Wildcat teammates. Kentucky drained 11 shots from deep, with Sabrina Haines hitting three of her five 3-point attempts on the way to 15 points.

In contrast, Texas A&M struggled to generate offense without its electric engine in Carter, the nation’s seventh-ranked scorer. Only three Aggies scored in the first half with the team shooting 25 percent from the field. Kayla Wells and Ciera Johnson attempted to establish a semblance of an offensive rhythm for A&M — each scored 18 points.

With the victory, Kentucky moves to 4-1 in conference play. Texas A&M is 3-2 in SEC action.

Next up

Kentucky travels to Baton Rouge on Sunday to take on LSU (2 p.m. ET, SEC Network). Texas A&M faces Florida in College Station on Sunday (4 p.m ET, SEC Network).