Several Huskers earned postseason honors for the Big Ten conference in women’s basketball. None of them are a surprise to me, they have been the steadiest contributors for Nebraska all season, as well as being the team captains.
Sam Haiby - Second Team
Nebraska’s go-to guard Sam Haiby earned second team All-Big Ten honors. Haiby, a 5-9 junior guard from Moorhead, Minn., led the Huskers in scoring (17.0 ppg), assists (4.5 apg) and steals (1.2 spg) while ranking third on the team in rebounding (6.8 rpg). She is the only Big Ten women’s basketball player to rank among the top 12 in the conference in scoring (11th), rebounding (12th) and assists (8th).
Haiby, who is closing in on 1,000 career points entering the Big Ten Tournament, has produced eight 20-point performances this season, including a career-high 33 points to open Big Ten play on Dec. 10. She also produced three double-doubles on the year, including back-to-back doubles in wins at No. 23 Michigan State (11 points, 12 rebounds) and against then-unbeaten and No. 15 Ohio State (11 points, 10 assists).
Kate Cain - Honorable Mention + All-Defense
Kate Cain, a 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., earned her second straight honorable-mention selection. Cain has averaged 10.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and a Big Ten-best 3.0 blocks per game. The No. 6 shot-blocker in Big Ten history with 347 career rejections, Cain owns the Nebraska school record in that category by 109 blocks. She also claimed a spot on the five-player Big Ten All-Defensive Team for the third time in four seasons. She recently became just the 10th Husker in history to achieve the combined career milestones of 1,000 points and 750 rebounds.
Isabelle Bourne - Honorable Mention
Issie Bourne, a 6-2 sophomore from Canberra, Australia, earned the first conference accolades of her career with her honorable-mention selection. In her first season as a starter, Bourne averaged 13.9 points (25th Big Ten) and 7.9 rebounds (6th Big Ten) while adding 2.3 assists and 1.1 blocks. Bourne was named the Big Ten Player of the Week and the College Sports Madness National Player of the Week (Feb. 22). She was also recently named one of 20 semifinalists for the NCAA Division I International Player of the Year Award.
Bourne started the season playing the #4 spot but the injury to Trinity Brady early in the season pushed Bella Cravens into the four and Bourne played more as a three/wing. The athletic forward has a nice long range shot and still can drop inside to post up effectively. In quite a few games, she was a terror on defense in addition to racking up the double doubles. It is going to be fun to watch her continue to develop.
Bella Cravens - Sportsmanship Award
Rounding out Nebraska’s list of Big Ten honorees was junior Bella Cravens, who earned NU’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for women’s basketball. Cravens, a 6-3 forward started 15 games for the Huskers during the regular season and ranked among the Big Ten’s top rebounders, while averaging 6.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Cravens is a player who grew on me more and more as I watched her. She is as tough as nails and never gives up on a play. She and Cain feed off each other as Cain can trust Cravens to be in position for a rebound and the senior center can focus on disrupting shots.
Congratulations to all of these players!