1.5.18 Gym vs Arkansas

LSU junior Sarah Finnegan lands her uneven bars routine during the Tigers' 197.15-195.350 victory against Arkansas on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in the PMAC.

After beating Arkansas 197.150-195.350 in their home opener last Friday, the LSU gymnastics team is now the No. 1 team in the nation.

LSU looks to defend its top status and get an early statement win on the road Friday night against conference foe Florida.

The last time that these two teams met was at the 2017 NCAA Super Six. LSU finished as the national champion runner-ups while Florida finished third.

Although the Gators lead the all-time series 69-38, the Tigers have won each of their last five meetings. LSU’s closest margin of victory in those wins came on Feb. 26, 2016, where the score was 197.90-197.875. The Gators then proceeded to win every home game since that loss.

In front of another record-breaking opening crowd in the PMAC, senior All-American all-arounder Myia Hambrick* overcame a tough outing on vault with scores of 9.925, 9.85 and 9.95 on bars, beam and floor, respectively.

Junior all-arounder Sarah Finnegan is the reigning SEC Gymnast of the Week after setting a career high in the all-around with a score of 39.650.

Finnegan and the Tigers will face a Florida team that has the reigning SEC Gymnast of the Year, senior All-American Alex McMurtry.

McMurtry scored a 9.90 on vault, 9.925 on bars and a 9.85 on beam in the Gators’ opening win against West Virginia. She won her first two events of the season on vault and bars, bringing her career event wins up to 50.

Another Gator to be on the lookout for is junior all-arounder Alicia Boren. The All-American Boren won the all-around title against West Virginia with a score of 39.575, which is the highest opening total for an all-arounder in school history. She has competed as an all-arounder in all of her college meets.

The LSU-Florida meet will air at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network.

 *Editor's Note: Myia Hambrick is a former employee of The Daily Reveille

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