Suni Lee was brilliant again, scoring two more 10s and adding another chapter to her legacy with the No. 11 Tigers scoring a season-high 197.700, but it was not enough as the No. 11 Crimson Tide wrapped the night up with season-high team scores on beam and floor, ultimately taking the win in Tuscaloosa.
It was a slow start for the Tigers on the uneven bars, with two consecutive 9.75s from Olivia Hollingsworth and Gabby McLaughlin, but Auburn bounced back with a 9.875 from Cassie Stevens. Sophia Groth continued to show promise, scoring a 9.9 in the event and Derrian Gobourne’s high-flying routine earned a 9.875. In the anchor spot, Suni Lee kicked off her night with a perfect 10 on bars, her first of the season.
With a 49.400, Auburn tied a season high on bars and took a .225 lead over the Crimson Tide, who faltered on vault with three sub-9.8 scores.
Auburn went to the vault, with Hollingsworth in the lead off position. The junior nailed a 9.875, a career high, and was followed by a 9.85 from Groth. Sara Hubbard stuck a 9.825 in the third spot and former vault champion Derrian Gobourne landed a 9.85. Suni Lee was up next, took a step, but still scored a 9.9, giving her the all around lead after two events. Cassie Stevens anchored with a solid 9.85.
Auburn could not extend its lead after a solid bars routine from Alabama, and headed to floor while Alabama went to beam, the Tide’s best event this season.
The Tigers opened with a 9.825 from senior Aria Brusch, followed by Sophia Groth nailing a season-high 9.9. Olivia Hollingsworth scored a 9.85 and Cassie Stevens rounded out Auburn’s first four on floor with a 9.875. Then all eyes turned to Lee and Gobourne, the anchors of Auburn’s floor routine and the team as a whole, and they both delivered, scoring a pair of 9.925s.
Despite the solid ending to the third rotation, Auburn’s .225 lead was shrunk to just .050 due to Alabama crushing it on beam. The Tide are one of the best teams on beam in the nation and behind a 10 from Luisa Blanco and a 9.975 from Gabby Galdieux, Alabama finished with a season high score of 49.650 in the event.
Auburn went to beam and had a strong night, kicked off with a 9.8 from Hollingsworth and 9.9 from Aria Brusch. Cassie Stevens stuck a season-high 9.95 and Sophia Groth secured a 9.85 in the event leading to the final two. McLaughlin struggled to keep her balance, scoring a 9.675, but Suni Lee put on a show once again, securing her second 10 of the evening. Lee secured the all around title with that 10 and gave Auburn a season-high 49.500, but Alabama was having a record night on the floor.
The Tide scored five 9.9s or above in the event, anchored by two 9.975s from Lily Hudson and Blanco, giving Alabama a season-high 197.850 and giving the Crimson Tide another win over Auburn in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s 49.700 in the final rotation is not just a season high for the program, it is the best score on the floor by any team this season.
Despite the tough loss, and remaining winless in Tuscaloosa, Auburn will carry a strong 197.700 score with them as they return home for another primetime SEC contest. The No. 6 Tigers of the Plains will welcome the No. 9 LSU Tigers to Neville Arena on February 10 for more Friday night heights. The top-10 matchup is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. live on the SEC Network.
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