Vanderbilt women will be without leading scorer for a little while

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 4:55pm

The news could have been better. Then again, it could have been worse.

Melanie Balcomb, however, doesn’t take solace in either. The bottom line for the Vanderbilt women's basketball coach is she is without her starting shooting guard.

Christina Foggie, last season's leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference, is out seven to 10 days with a knee injury. She will be reevaluated after that but will miss at least two games — Thursday against Missouri at Memorial Gymnasium and Sunday at No. 12 Tennessee.

“The fact that she is out and we have a game on Thursday and who knows if she’ll come back or not doesn’t help me either way,” Balcomb said. “I can’t say I’m happy or sad. The big thing is it is a great opportunity for more than one player to step up. People are going to have to play different spots. We’ll find out what we’re made of.”

Foggie injured her right knee in a loss to 10th-ranked Kentucky on Sunday. With 4:43 left, she collided with Wildcats forward Azia Bishop as the two went for a rebound. She was helped off the court before being carried to the locker room.

Foggie, who currently ranks seventh in the SEC with 15.7 points per game, was heavily bandaged and wore a bulky black brace during Wednesday’s practice.

The injury is the latest for the snake-bitten Commodores (15-8, 5-5), who are in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999. Vanderbilt is just one of eight programs in the country to make the NCAA Tournament each of the last 13 seasons.

Starting center Stephanie Holzer sustained a season-ending knee injury in an exhibition game in November. On Friday, reserve center Clair Watkins will have surgery to repair a torn ACL, an injury that sidelined her last month. Freshman forward Kristin Gaffney has been out all season after injuring her knee during her senior year of high school. In addition, starting guard Kady Schrann is expected to miss her second straight game with an ankle injury.

“It is an opportunity for other people,” said senior guard Gabby Smith, who will start in place of Foggie. “I don’t really see it as a roadblock in any way. It is an opportunity. It is a steppingstone if anything.”