Lincoln – Nebraska’s Kate Cain shared the Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week award when the conference announced its first set of weekly awards on Monday, Nov. 13.
Cain, a 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., erupted for 18 points and team highs of nine rebounds and three blocks off the bench to help the Big Red to a 62-53 victory over Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Cain, who was ranked as the No. 10 post and No. 82 player overall in the nation by ESPN among 2016-17 high school seniors, hit 9-of-15 shots from the field while adding an assist and a steal in 26 minutes of action against the Cougars on Saturday.
Cain teamed up with sophomore newcomer Bria Stallworth to account for all 39 of Nebraska’s bench points, as the Husker reserves outscored SIUE, 39-2. Cain scored six of Nebraska’s first eight points in a decisive 13-0 run to end the third quarter against the Cougars. The Husker surge turned an eight-point deficit (38-30) into a five-point lead heading into the final period.
Cain shared the honor with Purdue guard Karissa McLaughlin, who scored a team-high 21 points while adding five assists and four steals in leading Purdue’s come-from-behind win over Central Michigan on Friday. McLaughlin became the first freshman guard to start a season opener for Purdue since Courtney Moses in 2010.
Iowa junior forward Megan Gustafson was named the conference’s first Big Ten Player of the Week. She was named the MVP of the Hawkeye Challenge after averaging 25.5 points, 16.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in a pair of Hawkeye wins over Quinnipiac and Western Kentucky. She scored a career-high 35 points in an overtime win over WKU on Saturday, while adding 17 rebounds.
Cain and the Huskers will continue a four-game season-opening home stand on Tuesday when they play host to UMKC. Tip-off at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 7 p.m.