ATHENS, Ga. — Angela Puleo is learning a new skill, and judging from her performance Wednesday night in Georgia's 72-46 win over Tennessee Tech, she's learning quickly.
Sliding over from her wing position to relieve Ashley Houts at the point, Puleo scored 13 points, chipped in seven assists, grabbed five rebounds and picked up three steals in leading the Lady Bulldogs to their fifth straight victory.
Houts has been almost a full-time player at the point for Georgia, playing 40 minutes or more 18 times last season. But Puleo may be able to provide some relief this year.
Christy Marshall added 12 points and nine rebounds for Georgia (7-1).
No Tennessee Tech (1-6) player scored in double figures as the Golden Eagles shot 27 percent from the field (16 of 60) and had 24 turnovers. Blair Bowens led Tennessee Tech with nine points.
Georgia was a little careless, turning the ball over 19 times, but coach Andy Landers was not really complaining. In fact, he was delighted with the speed and aggressiveness his team displayed.
"We played with great energy and speed," Landers said. "This is the speed I want us to play at. We finally got them running up and down the floor. The skills and reads are not quite there yet, but they will come."
Puleo, daughter of former Major League pitcher Charlie Puleo, said that the team will work on cleaning up its offense.
"That is something we will have to cut down on against Georgia Tech," she said of Georgia's next opponent. "Turnovers are never good, but we were pushing the ball up the floor."
After scoring just one basket in the first three minutes, Georgia went on a 9-0 run to overtake the Golden Eagles for good at 12-4 with 14:35 to play in the first half. Three layups by Jasmine Lee, Porsha Phillips and Angela Robinson sparked the Lady Bulldogs' run.
A pair of 3-pointers by Puleo keyed an 8-0 run that gave Georgia a 25-9 lead with 7:37 to play in the half.
Georgia had three 8-point runs in the second half to pull away from the Golden Eagles, giving Landers an opportunity to try Puleo at the point. He has other options — sophomore Jaleesa Rhoden and freshman Meredith Mitchell — but none look as promising as Puleo.
"She played the point a little last year," Landers said. "Playing the point is kind of like being an option quarterback. You have got to make a lot of reads. You need the right timing on entry passes and have a sense of when to take that last dribble. Point guards know what everyone does. Wings tend to be a little more self-aware."
Landers said he's excited about Friday's game at Georgia Tech.
"This could be the best team that they've had in a long time," he said. "Nothing would please me more than to go over there and beat them."
Tennessee Tech lost to Georgia Tech by 12 points on Sunday.
Golden Eagles coach Amy Brown said she thought her team was prepared to face the Lady Bulldogs.
"We came into the game very hyped," she said. "Georgia is very athletic and big in size. When you have those two things together, you will be good."