Even Foggie finds her own recent scoring streak a little hard to fathom

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 11:21pm

Christina Foggie insists she hasn’t been watching the numbers on the scoreboard inflate seemingly from possession to possession.

Even so, the Vanderbilt guard admits when she stares at the box score after recent games, the figure in the points column next to her name has been a surprise.

“Sometimes it shocks me,” she said. “I’ll be like, ‘Oh, I had 20. I don’t even remember.’”

The number 20 and Foggie have been synonymous lately.

Heading into Sunday’s road matchup at North Carolina State, the sophomore has scored at least 20 points in the last five games for No. 20 Vanderbilt (10-0).

The last Commodore to have such a tear was Wendy Scholtens during her senior season in 1990-91. Scholtens finished her career with 2,602 points — at the time the school record and still the second most — and had seven streaks of five games or more, including one of 19 in a row, during her career.

“I’m still impressed just when I think about Wendy Scholtens,” Vanderbilt assistant coach Vicky Picott said. “Wow. That is really good company for her.”

Foggie has been an offensive weapon for the Commodores, who are off to their best start in seven seasons and rank first in the nation in 3-point percentage, third in field goal percentage and sixth in scoring offense.

The streak began for the 5-foot-9 sharp-shooter when she dropped 21 against then-No. 12 Oklahoma two days after Thanksgiving. She then surpassed her previous career-high of 23 in her next three games with 25, 24 and 26 points. She capped it off with a 20-point outing at Tennessee-Martin last week.

“It is hard to explain because it just comes in the game,” said Foggie, who averages a team-high 17.2 points. “I’ve gotten a lot of confidence lately. The coaches are really confident in me. My teammates are really confident in me so they set great screens for me. Basically, it is just taking opportunities that I know are best for the team, best for in the system. My defense, also — I’ve been focusing on that and that has caused a lot of transition buckets.”

She is scoring in a variety of ways — primarily behind the 3-point arc. She leads the team with 30 3-pointers — nailing 48 percent from long range — with 21 in the last five games. Her career-best is six, which she set against Denver two weeks ago.

But she isn’t just a spot-up shooter. This past offseason, she worked on becoming a “complete player,” which included penetrating off the dribble. This has led to not only more layups but also more attempts at the free-throw line. She is an 81 percent free-throw shooter and has hit 20-of-23 over the last five games.

“Last year as a freshman, we had Jence Rhoads, who was a driver, and she would often drive and kick it to me for 3s. I pretty much got stuck in that role of being a shooter,” she said. “I worked in the offseason to drive and pull it all together.”

In 2010-11, Foggie hit 41 3-pointers — second to Lister — and averaged 9.9 points during a season in which she missed 11 games due to two concussions. Picott said those setbacks kept her from displaying “flashes of brilliance” she unleashed in practice and during a record-setting career at Lenape High School in New Jersey.

So far this season, nothing is holding Foggie back.

“What she is doing now is pretty much the same thing she did in high school,” Picott said. “I remember when we recruited her I came back and was like, ‘Hey, that kid can score any kind of way you want her to score.’ She is very good off the bounce, very good one-on-one. She has a pull-up [jumper] she is working on.

“But her 3-point shot is deadly and there is no limit to her range. She is hard to guard. She is a matchup nightmare for most guards.”