ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 3 LSU Gymnastics team (5-3, 3-1 SEC) defeated No. 19 Georgia (1-5, 0-5 SEC) by a score of 197.625-196.300 on Friday night in Stegeman Coliseum.
The Tiger’s win on the night marked their sixth victory over a top-20 opponent so far this year and first on the road in a dual-meet. The score was a season high on the road as the squad hit all 24 routines in Athens and continues to improve each week.
Haleigh Bryant led the Tigers as she etched her name into the school record books. The senior earned her first career perfect 10 on beam against the Bulldogs, making her the first LSU gymnast to achieve perfection on every event and only the 14th in the NCAA.
“I thought tonight was a good positive step in the right direction,” said head coach Jay Clark. “We’re still a work in progress and there’s still areas of improvement that have nothing to do with physical capabilities, but maturity in our mindset. It’s always great to get a win, but we have to be able to execute better on the road if we want to be the team we think we are.”
LSU began the competition on bars. Alexis Jeffrey started things off with a 9.875 in the leadoff spot for the Tigers. Ashley Cowan and Kiya Johnson followed with a pair of 9.850s. In the fourth spot, freshman Konnor McClain posted a 9.875. To close out the rotation, Savannah Schoenherr and Haleigh Bryant both recorded additional 9.850s.
The Tigers finished the first rotation with a 49.300 to take the early lead over the Bulldog’s 49.050 in Stegeman Coliseum.
LSU rotated to vault as KJ Johnson led off with a powerful yurchenko full that scored a 9.850. Aleah Finnegan followed with the same score. In the third spot, freshman Amari Drayton posted a 9.825. Savannah Schoenherr kept a steady pace with her 9.825 performance in her hometown. Kiya Johnson got the energy up, scoring the first 9.900 for the Tigers before Haleigh Bryant closed with a team-high 9.95 in the anchor spot.
The Tigers earned a 49.375 in the second rotation and held on to the 98.675-98.300 lead at the halfway point.
Olivia Dunne got things started on floor for the Tigers with her 9.800 and Drayton followed with a 9.825. KJ Johnson returned to the lineup and got the momentum going with a 9.900. Finnegan put on a performance that scored a 9.925 while Bryant posted a team-high 9.950 in the fifth spot. Kiya Johnson handled the anchor spot with ease as she closed the third rotation with a 9.925.
It was a 148.200-147.600 LSU lead going into the final rotation in Athens.
Sierra Ballard posted a 9.825 in the beam leadoff spot and Jeffrey followed with a 9.775. McClain earned a 9.925 in the third spot and Kiya Johnson added a 9.850 in the fourth spot to close out her 39.525 all-around performance on the night. Senior Haleigh Bryant scored her first career perfect 10 in the fifth spot to complete her gym slam. Finnegan posted a 9.825 in the anchor spot to close out the meet with a 49.425 on beam.
The perfect score was Bryant’s 13th in her career.
The Tigers secured the win over the Bulldogs with a final score of 197.625-197.075 and will head back to Baton Rouge with the win.
Bryant finished as the top performer in the meet with a 39.750 for her fourth all-around title this year. The senior also took home the titles on vault, beam and floor.
Her event totals moved to 27 titles on vault, six on beam and seven on floor. She now owns 23 career all-around titles to tie Sarah Finnegan for the third-most all-around titles in program history and 73 in her career, which is just one shy of tying Susan Jackson in sixth in the school record books for most career individual titles.
The Tigers return home to host Auburn for a Friday Night Heights competition inside the PMAC on Friday, February 16 at 8 p.m. CT on SEC Network.