BATON ROUGE – Trailing at the end of three rotations, the second-ranked LSU gymnastics team closed the meet with a strong 49.525 on floor to power past No. 14 Auburn, 197.175-196.850, Saturday afternoon in the Maravich Center.
In front of a raucous crowd of 4,048 inside the arena, LSU improved to 2-1 overall and 1-1 against Southeastern Conference competition with the fourth-straight 197-score at home dating back to last season.
Junior Rheagan Courville captured her third all-around title in as many meets this season with a season-high tying 39.600, including a fantastic 9.95 on floor to cement the Tigers’ victory.
“We knew floor had to be our best event today, and the ladies rallied and did a super job,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “Our team handled the pressure well and showed a lot of grit in finishing strong in every event.”
LSU opened the meet with a 49.400 on vault, led by a 9.925 from Courville, a 9.90 from Sarie Morrison, 9.875s from Kaleigh Dickson and Jessie Jordan and 9.825s from Ashleigh Gnat and Lloimincia Hall.
Auburn (1-2, 0-2) started with a 49.075 on bars, led by Caitlin Atkinson who won the event title with a 9.90.
LSU matched Auburn on bars with a 49.075 with Courville leading the way with a 9.875, followed by a 9.85 from Morrison, a 9.825 from Dickson, a 9.80 from Britney Ranzy and a 9.725 by Jordan.
Auburn took a slight lead after two rotations, 98.500-98.475, after Auburn earned a 49.425 on vault, and Auburn increased the lead to 147.800-147.650 after the third rotation.
LSU earned a 49.175 on beam while Auburn countered with a 49.300 on floor in the third rotation. Jordan won the beam title with a 9.925 in the anchor position. Courville added a 9.85, Dickson and Hall provided 9.825s, and Sydney Ewing earned a 9.75.
LSU rallied in the final rotation to win the meet as the Tigers posted a 49.525 on floor while Auburn earned a 49.050 on beam. Courville led the way with a season-high tying 9.95 that marks her second floor title of the year. Hall punctuated the win with a 9.925 in the anchor spot. The Tigers also received 9.875s from Jordan and Jessica Savona.
Dickson broke her career high on floor with a 9.90 in the leadoff spot, and she shattered her career high in the all-around with a 39.425.
Winter weather in Baton Rouge created travel delays, so only three judges were able to score the meet. Because of that issue, two judges scored all six vaults first, and then one judge moved over to bars and the six bars routines were scored.
LSU completed all six bars routines before Auburn vaulted in the second rotation. In the final two rotations, the teams alternated performances like usual. One of the three judges rotated back and forth between both events in the last two rotations.
LSU returns to the Maravich Center on Friday to face No. 7 Alabama in an SEC showdown at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.LSUtix.net, by calling the LSU Ticket Office at 225-578-2184 or in person at the ticket office on the first floor of the LSU Athletics Administration Building.
“I was so happy we had a great crowd, and they really became a factor today,” Breaux said. “The student section was fabulous, and I hope everyone comes back next week to pack this arena for a great meet against Alabama.”