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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Vanderbilt's Foggie rebounds from injury case

                                                                                                         (Associated Press photo)
Christina Foggie, who was the SEC's scoring champion as a sophomore, has overcome
a knee injury and increased attention from opponents to lead Vanderbilt into the second
round of the NCAA tournament. The Commodores play at UConn on Monday night.
Christina Foggie's first reaction was one of absolute dismay as she experienced the pain in her right knee last month.

Her Vanderbilt team has already needed to press forward without the services of the multi-faceted Stephanie Holzer and now Foggie, the reigning Southeastern Conference scoring champion, was faced with an uncertain short-term future.

There was a sense of relief when she was told that the knee injury was not of the season-ending variety. She was forced to sit out four games including showdowns with top 15 teams Tennessee and Texas A&M before returning in time for the Feb. 28 game against Auburn.

While still working her way back, Foggie will be front and center when the Commodores face UConn in Monday's second-round game.

So was Foggie scared that her season was over?

"A little bit," Foggie said. "I definitely had to go with what the prognosis and the injury. Missing time was tough but at the end of the day I was rooting for my team to bounce back and recover really helped me and coming back now has helped me be solid and bring experience for them.

"It is a scary injury and something I hope (nobody) has to do but I was very grateful to be able to come back and play for the rest of the season. It is tough because at that point of the season everybody is really in stride and I am trying to come back and get back to the level of shape that I was before I got hurt. I have done a decent job of doing that and I am feeling pretty good so it has been good but having to play with a brace is different too."

It has been a slow road back as she had only four points in 23 minutes in her first two games back before scoring 12 points against Missouri, her first double-digit game in nearly a month.

"Quickness on defense (has been a struggle) but I have been good to go," Foggie said. "I have really got back faster than I thought I would."

The knee issue and playing with a knee brace is not the only adjustment for Foggie this season. Coming off a breakthrough season as a sophomore, stopping Foggie has been the focus of every team's scouting report.

"People play you a little tighter, they know your every tendency a little more not and it is definitely more of reacting to what they are doing and it is not as easy as it was last year," Foggie said.

Foggie drew praise from both UConn coach Geno Auriemma and associate head coach Chris Dailey for coming back so quickly from an injury that could have been of the season-ending variety.

"Sometimes you just will yourself to play and you have to admire kids like this," Auriemma said. "They just love to play and don't want anybody telling them that they can't play."

Dailey remembers Foggie playing for some powerful Fencor teams, the same AAU program that one-time UConn signee Elena Delle Donne played for.

I watched her play in AAU and she is a good player," Dailey said. "You want to talk about toughness, clearly she has to be a pretty tough kid to come back in the same year off the partially torn ACL and just now I think she is just starting to get her form back and get her shooting back. She is a tough kid and knows how to play."

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