For her part in a 2-0 week for the Husker women’s basketball team, forward Issie Bourne was named the Big Ten Player of the Week by the conference on Monday.
— Nebraska On BTN (@NebraskaOnBTN) February 22, 2021
Bourne was everywhere for Nebraska.
In a road win over No. 24 Northwestern last Wednesday, Bourne played 37 minutes and stuffed the box score. She finished with 21 points (6-13 FG, 2-2 3P, 7-10 FT), 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal in the 71-64 win. It was Nebraska’s fourth win over a ranked opponent this season and broke a slide of four consecutive losses.
Then on Sunday, Bourne turned in a 22-point performance in an 87-72 win over Penn State at home. She shot 7-of-13 from the field, 1-of-2 from beyond the arc, and a similar 7-of-10 from the free throw line. It also marked her third straight double-double (she had 17 and 10 in a loss to Maryland on Feb. 14), as she added 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks.
“She looks comfortable, confident, and it’s awesome to see,” head coach Amy Williams said of Bourne after Sunday’s win.
The sophomore from Australia missed three weeks of play through the middle stretch of Nebraska’s season with an ankle injury. At the time she went down, she was Nebraska’s second-leading scorer at just a shade over 14 points per contest.
The bulk of that pre-injury production came from the wing, too. With guard depth depleted by way of injury, Bourne moved from the post out to the perimeter and Nebraska started eight straight games with a three-big lineup before her injury on Jan. 10.
Bourne’s return to full strength in recent games, though, has coincided with an injury to forward Bella Cravens (who moved into the starting five at the four spot when Bourne moved to the three), facilitating a move back to the post. She’s really flourished.
“I would say that I’m probably more comfortable at the four, just because it’s something I’ve been used to my entire life,” Bourne said with a noticeable smile when asked after Sunday’s game. “I did get used to the three for a while there, and I don’t hate it but I do prefer the four I think.”
Either way, she’s playing well for Nebraska right now.