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gymnastics-women-nc flag | March 1, 2014

No. 1 LSU earns a 198 for first time in school history, defeats Missouri

BATON ROUGE, La. -- For the first time in school history, LSU earned a 198 team score as the Tigers knocked off Missouri 198.050-194.825 in front of a lively crowd of 7,018 fans Friday night in the Maravich Center.

LSU (8-3, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) used a 49.575 on vault, 49.500 on bars, 49.275 on beam and school-record 49.700 on floor to reach the 198.050, the best score in team history.

Missouri (6-5, 0-4) finished the meet with a 194.825 after scoring a 48.500 on vault, 48.950 on bars, 48.800 on beam and 48.575 on floor.

Junior Jessie Jordan won the all-around title with a career-high 39.600 total, and she also tied for the vault title with a 9.925.

Senior Kaleigh Dickson recorded a career-high all-around of 39.475, and she tied for the vault title with a 9.925.

Senior Sarie Morrison also shared the vault title with a 9.925, and she added the bars title with a 9.925 that marks her 27th career victory in that event.

Junior Lloimincia Hall captured the floor title with a 9.975, and she shared the beam crown with freshman Ashleigh Gnat as they both earned 9.875s.

Junior Rheagan Courville tied for the bars title with Morrison after scoring a 9.925.

The win also marked the 250th all-time victory inside the Maravich Center as LSU improved its home record to 250-55-3.

“I feel really good about where we are and the pace we are keeping as we head toward the SEC Championship,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “I am proud of the effort and the mindset of our team tonight, and I’m pleased to know we still have room for improvement.

No. 2 Oklahoma 197.250, Illinois 195.850

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma used another hard-fought effort to earn a solid 197.250-195.850 victory against No. 15 Illinois on Friday night. OU was joined by 1,625 fans at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman as it knocked off its fifth ranked opponent in the past three meets.

It was a night of shining performances for two Sooners, with sophomore Haley Scaman and freshman Chayse Capps sweeping all four individual event titles for Oklahoma. The duo tied for the vault title (9.925), with Scaman adding solo titles on bars (9.9) and floor (9.975). Capps added a title of her own on beam (9.9) to round things out.

The Sooners were back to their strong selves on vault, sticking close to their season average with a strong 49.400. OU was paced by the end of its lineup, with Capps and Scaman earning identical scores of 9.925 in the Nos. 5 and 6 spots, respectively. Kanewa contributed a 9.875 in the middle of the lineup, her sixth of 9.875 or higher this season. Oklahoma native Charity Jones made her first career appearance in the Sooners' competitive lineup, posting a solid 9.85 for her squad.

No. 4 Alabama 197.675, No. 3 Florida 197.400

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In a meet that was tied throughout the night, the Alabama team beat Florida by a score of 197.675-197.400 in front of 12,301 roaring fans in Coleman Coliseum Friday. It was a season-best mark for the Crimson Tide.

"This is what the coaching staff has anticipated," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "I feel like our ladies learned that even through adversity and challenges and shifting our lineup around that they can compete with anyone in the country."

With the win, Alabama goes to 8-3-0 on the year and 6-1-0 in Southeastern Conference competition while extending its home winning streak, which dates back to midway through the 2009 season, to 43-0-0. The Gators, undefeated coming into the meet, go to 7-1-0 overall and 5-1-0 in the SEC.

The meet was knotted 148.250-148.250 after three rotations, but Alabama closed out the meet and the Gators with a 49.425 on the floor exercise led by huge back-to-back 9.95 routines from seniors Kim Jacob and Diandra Milliner while the Gators finished the night with a 49.150 on the balance beam.

No. 5 Utah 197.125, Washington 193.475

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utes needed to adjust their starting lineup for their meet with Washington, but still won going away 197.125-193.475 before a Short People Appreciation crowd of 13,933 in the Huntsman Center. Utah improved its Pac-12-leading record to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play while Washington dropped to 4-7, 0-6 Pac-12.

The first lineup modifications were health related, as three-event starter Kailah Delaney competed only on vault due to strep throat, while a muscle pull kept all-arounder Georgia Dabritz out of the beam lineup.

But it was a modified floor pass that caused the biggest sensation. The Ute coaches moved Tory Wilson to the back of the floor lineup with the understanding that if the five gymnasts ahead of her hit their routines, she would open hers with a full twisting double layout. When everyone preceding her scored a 9.90 or better, Wilson successfully executed the extremely difficult trick before taking a step out of bounds. She is believed to be just the third college gymnast ever to perform a full twisting double back in competition (along with UCLA's Kristen Maloney in 2005 and Penn State's Brandi Personett in 2010).

No. 8 Michigan 197.200 , BYU 195.325 , No. 23 Kent State 194.275

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Competing at home for the first time in four weeks, Michigan hit 23 of 24 routines to cruise to a score of 197.200 in a tri-meet victory against BYU (195.325) and No. 23 Kent State (194.275) on Friday.

Four different U-M gymnasts won events -- sophomore Austin Sheppard on vault (9.975), senior Shelby Gies on uneven bars (9.900), sophomore Briley Casanova on balance beam (9.850) and fifth-year senior Natalie Beilstein on floor exercise (9.950). Senior Joanna Sampson did not compete in the all-around -- sitting out on uneven bars (rest) -- but did take second on both vault (9.925) and floor exercise (9.925). Freshman Nicole Artz was in the all-around for the second time in her career, taking second (39.200).

Due to being at home, U-M had the advantage of rotating in Olympic order. The Wolverines started on vault and scored 49.425 for the second week in a row. The scores began to escalate beginning with junior Sachi Sugiyama in the third spot, as she scored a 9.850 on a solid Yurchenko 1.5. Beilstein followed with the same vault -- scoring 9.900 -- while Sampson hit her Yurchenko Full with only a miniscule hop on the landing to score 9.925. Sheppard very nearly stuck her Yurchenko Full in the anchor spot and even received a 10.0 from one judge, eventually settling for a 9.975.

With Sampson's big scoring potential out of the lineup on Friday, the Wolverines still managed to put up a very solid uneven bars rotation, scoring 49.225. Her replacement on Friday was sophomore Lindsay Williams, who hit a career-best routine in the leadoff spot (9.800). Everyone else moved down one spot in the order, including hit routines from Sugiyama (9.850) and Artz (9.825) before Gies' beautiful routine netted a 9.900, thanks to some great verticality on handstands and dismount. Sheppard was the fifth counted score in the rotation, grabbing a 9.850, finishing the routine with a solid double front dismount. At the halfway point, Michigan was in command (98.650), ahead of both Kent State (96.425) and BYU (97.625).

A pair of underclassmen led the way on balance beam, as Michigan scored an even 49.000. Casanova hit her flight series and had a tremendous dismount to score 9.850, while freshman Talia Chiarelli (Boston, Mass./Lexington) hit a 9.825 routine in the second spot. The remaining five routines all scored 9.775 (Gies, Sheppard, Sampson).