s-FreshmanOTW
Nebraska's Isabelle Bourne (34) goes up for a shot during the game against Duke at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

With winter break over and the spring 2020 semester about to begin, Husker athletes were barely on break during the three weeks off. This week’s Daily Nebraskan Freshman Athlete of the Week is women’s basketball forward Isabelle Bourne.

The women’s basketball team continued its conference schedule when it faced Wisconsin and Rutgers. They took down the Badgers 65-50 but fell to the Scarlet Knights 69-65. Between the two games, Bourne finished with 20 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks, two steals and one assist. Bourne is one of three freshmen on the team and has slowly earned more playing time. At the start of the season, the 6-foot-2 forward didn’t play much, but the last two games have shown Bourne has potential coming off the bench. Against Wisconsin, Bourne had a career-best 11 points, eight rebounds and two steals to help the Huskers defeat the Badgers. Against Rutgers, Bourne had a team-high eight rebounds and also dropped nine points. If Bourne continues to improve, she could be a factor in a potential run for the Big Ten title. 

The first honorable mention is men’s basketball forward Kevin Cross. The Huskers battled it out last week with two conference foes, Iowa and Northwestern. After taking down Iowa 76-70 and falling to Northwestern 62-57, Cross finished the week with 20 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal. Cross continues to work his way onto the court for the season and looks to continue increasing his averages. Against Iowa, most of Cross’s points came in the second half, where he helped the team push ahead and eventually keep control of the game. Against Northwestern, all of Cross’s points came from 3-pointers. The forward has progressed nicely, and with the season halfway through, Cross could soon become a key element in the team’s final 15 games.

The second honorable mention is women’s gymnast Kathryn Thaler. While basketball was entering its third month of action, the women’s gymnastics team was beginning its season with two meets against BYU and Southern Utah. Thaler competed in the uneven bars and the balance beam for both meets, and she walked away averaging 9.75 in bars and 9.825 in beam. Thaler’s performance in the uneven bars started off rough against BYU as she scored a 9.7, which was unfortunately the team’s lowest and the second lowest in the meet. However, on the balance beam, Thaler did score a 9.825, which was the team’s second-best and the fourth-best score in the meet. Thaler entered the Southern Utah meet on a mission, as she improved on her score on the uneven bars with a 9.8 — the team’s third-best score and the fifth-best score in the meet. Thaler also replicated her 9.825 score in the beam, once again the team’s third-best and the meet’s fourth-best score.

sports@dailynebraskan.com

This article was modified at 9:04 a.m. on Jan. 13, 2020 to correct the headline.