College gymnastics: No. 7 Tide downs fifth-ranked Georgia
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Feb 07, 2014 | 2610 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama's Aja Sims scored a 9.875 on the balance beam. (University of Alabama photo)
Alabama's Aja Sims scored a 9.875 on the balance beam. (University of Alabama photo)
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TUSCALOOSA -- After trailing throughout the meet, No. 7 Alabama gymnastics closed strong en route to its highest score of the season to defeat No. 5 Georgia, 197.500-196.825 on Friday in front of 12,381 fans at Coleman Coliseum.

The Crimson Tide extended its home win streak, with its last loss in Coleman Coliseum -- regular or postseason -- coming Feb. 13, 2009.

Alabama was able to bounce back from from its road loss to LSU last week.

“I feel like some teams might have been discouraged after losing by almost a point at LSU – and we didn’t have a bad meet at LSU – but I think for them to come in and step it up like this I think mentally that is what we need right now,” Alabama coach Sarah Patterson said.

Heading into the final rotation, the Tide was down by .05, but Alabama put together one of its best performance on the floor exercise, led by career-best 9.925 from sophomore Lauren Beers and 9.95s from Kim Jacob and Diandra Milliner, which tied a career best for both. The Tide posted a 49.625 on the floor, while Georgia stumbled on the balance beam, scoring a 48.900.

“I was really proud of Lauren tonight," Jacob said. "She has stepped it up. She’s been working so hard in the gym, just getting in on every event and pushing everyone harder. She went out there tonight and did her job.”

Alabama opened with a 49.300 on the vault, anchored by Milliner who a scored of 9.925. On the uneven bars, the Tide posted a 49.350 led by a 9.9 from Jacob and a 9.925 from junior Kaitlyn Clark. The Tide tallied a 49.225 on the balance beam paced by 9.875s from Clark and freshman Aja Sims.

Milliner said she feels like the Tide took a step forward, but there’s still work to be done.

“I think we did, however I think we need to figure out how to start meets how we end meets because we’re ending them really great,” Milliner said. “We just need to have that momentum through the whole meet.”

It was alumni night at Coleman Coliseum with more than 60 former Tide gymnasts attending.

The Tide will travel to Auburn on Friday to face on the Tigers.
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