Vanderbilt women's hoops gets much-needed good news on health front

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 8:20pm
Staff reports

A week after leg injuries forced one Vanderbilt post player to end her career prematurely, the team announced another made it successfully through surgery.

Vanderbilt women’s basketball coach Melanie Balcomb said Tuesday that 6-foot-1 forward Kristin Gaffney underwent surgery to repair damage to her right knee. Gaffney recently tore an ACL for the second time. She suffered the same injury to her left knee her senior year of high school and missed all of last season.

Last week, 6-4 center Stephanie Holzer announced she would forgo her senior season after nine surgeries during her career. Holzer played just two healthy seasons and averaged 11 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Gaffney has yet to play a collegiate game and her timetable to return will be determined later in her rehab. She was a Parade All-American at Green Hope High School in North Carolina. She scored 2,671 points – seventh most in state history – and led Green Hope to 105-6 record over her last three seasons.

The uncertainty of her return adds to the depth and inexperience issues in the paint for the Commodores. 

Leading scorer and rebounder Tiffany Clarke (16.6 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game) graduated, leaving a handful of youngsters to pick up the slack.

SEC All-Freshman selection Heather Bowe returns after averaging 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds while playing in every game and making 13 starts. Kendall Shaw and Rayte’a Long also each played more than 23 games as freshmen reserves. Vanderbilt adds 6-1 freshman forward Marqu’es Webb, a four-star recruit and first-team all-state selection from Hoover, Ala.