It has been a strange week for the Virginia women's basketball team, and tonight against Virginia Tech was no different.
After beginning the second half by getting six stitches in her upper lip, Telisha Quarles scored eight of her 12 points to lead Virginia (5-4) to a 67-62 victory over the Hokies at University Hall.
Quarles had her work cut out for her before she set foot in the building. Junior Erin Stovall, Virginia's second-leading scorer with 13.8 points per game, left the team this week for an indefinite period of time, and Quarles had to fill her shoes.
Stovall is scheduled to get married Tuesday in Fayetteville, N.C., but Virginia Coach Debbie Ryan said she hasn't heard from Stovall, and doesn't know her whereabouts. She said Stovall has spoken to guard Renee Robinson, who declined to comment on the matter tonight.
Ryan said she had not expected Stovall's wedding to interfere with team commitments.
"The whole thing has been very hard for me. . . . I didn't really see it coming, although there have been times when I've known that basketball hasn't been her favorite thing," Ryan said. "But I didn't expect anything like this."
After running into teammate Chalois Lias during layup drills before the second half, Quarles went to the Cavaliers' locker room to get sewn up. Despite missing the first nine minutes of the second half, Quarles took over. She made a three-pointer with four minutes remaining that put the Cavaliers up by five. Lias also received stitches, above her eye, and didn't play in the second half.
"That was a little discouraging when two players ran into each other and both have to have stitches," Ryan said. "It was a pretty big cut, but I wanted her [to get stitched up] as fast as possible."
Point guard Amy Wetzel of Virginia Tech (5-4) cut the lead to one with two free throws with three minutes left, but Virginia forward Svetlana Volnaya converted a driving layup and Robinson made an uncontested layup after a steal to put the Cavaliers up by five again.