Pachis Roberts’ 25 points in her first career start helped UGA (12-1) extend its win streak to 11 games with a 81-48 win over Tennessee Tech (4-9). The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 11-0 start in the first quarter and never looked back, leading the entire way in the team’s last contest before the new year.
“Pachis has the ability to score in bunches and really shoot the ball really well,” UGA head coach Joni Taylor said. “I think sometimes she’s a shot taker instead a shot maker, so we’ve been saying ‘hey, you need to make shots. You have the ability to do that.’”
Here are five observations from Monday’s game:
1. Dominant first half
UGA had a hot start in the first quarter, jumping out to an early 11-0 lead. The Bulldogs’ defense held Tennessee Tech to just three points in the quarter as the Golden Eagles missed their first six field goals and ended the quarter shooting just 9.1 percent (1-of-11).
Despite scoring 16 points in the second quarter, the Golden Eagles fell behind even further as nine Bulldogs scored to help UGA put together a 50-point first half. Merritt Hempe had 12 points and Caliya Robinson added 10 to join Roberts in double figures.
2. Pachis Roberts gets first start
With senior Tiaria Griffin out for the game, Roberts was awarded her first start. Roberts took full advantage of the opportunity, scoring 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting and chipping in five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
“She (Roberts) didn’t force any of (her shots),” Taylor said. “They came within the offense. She passed the ball, she rebounded, and she allowed her game to get her going.”
3. Excellent shooting behind the arc
The Bulldogs had a great 3-point shooting night in Monday’s win. The team made nine of its 14 attempts, shooting 64.3 percent.
Roberts was also perfect from beyond the arc, making all five of her attempts.
4. Bench woes
Despite a dominating performance in the first half and overall a blowout victory, Taylor expressed frustration with the bench’s performance in the final minutes of the game. After scoring 20 points or better in the first three quarters, the Bulldogs only posted nine points in the fourth.
“We left a lot of points on the board tonight and were kind of sloppy in a lot of areas,” Taylor said. “I kind of expected that a little bit with these subs not having played together, but that’s a lesson for them. If they want that playing time, they’ve got to earn it, and they’ve got to be just as sharp when they sub in as the starters.”
5. Look ahead to SEC play
UGA’s first game of the new year will also be its first conference game of the season. The Bulldogs will head to College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M (9-3).
“We’ve got to do a number in the backcourt guarding their perimeter players,” Taylor said of the Aggies. “We’re going to take a day off and prepare for them, but no doubt, their place is going to be tough, and we’ve got to be ready for it.”
The Bulldogs will take on Texas A&M on Jan. 3 at 5 p.m..