The Maneater

No. 24 Missouri gymnastics’ late comeback not enough to steal victory from No. 3 LSU

The visiting Tigers tallied seven scores of 9.9 or higher, resulting in the win for LSU.

Maneater File Photo

No. 24-ranked Missouri gymnastics’ comeback fell flat against No. 3-ranked LSU, as the visiting Tigers won the meet 197.15-196.375 on Friday at Hearnes Center.

For the first three rotations of the meet, Mizzou was hopelessly outmatched. Despite finishing the night with its highest points total so far this season, the home team came into the final rotation facing a 1.35-point deficit.

LSU had nine routines score 9.9 or higher to jump out to that lead, highlighted by senior Myia Hambrick and junior Sarah Finnegan each posting 9.975 on their floor routines.

However, falls by LSU underclassmen Kennedi Edney and Reagan Campbell on the beam opened up a small window of hope for Mizzou, one that was made much larger following junior Allison Bower’s electrifying floor routine, which received a 9.925 and had the Missouri soccer players in attendance on their feet.

The soccer players again leapt to their feet when senior Kennedi Harris received a 9.95, but in the end it was the visiting fans who got the final cheer as their team’s enormous lead survived the late comeback.

Mizzou (1-4) was again a victim of its difficult schedule, as LSU was the fifth ranked opponent Missouri has faced this year. Despite the loss, the home team put in a solid performance, posting 14 scores of at least 9.8 and two scores above 9.9.

“The score was definitely a step forward for us tonight,” head coach Shannon Welker said in a press release. “We had some people out who were sick but we had people step up, and that's going to make a big difference for the rest of the season. In the long run that's going to help us down the road. It proves we can have anyone in there and still do a good job.”

Next week, Mizzou will travel to St. Charles, Missouri, and compete against No. 3-ranked LSU, No. 10-ranked Arkansas and No. 21-ranked George Washington University in the Mardi Gras Invitational. The meet is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 16.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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