No. 21 Wildcats Face Top-Ranked Oklahoma in OKC Friday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 21 Kentucky gymnastics team faces No. 1 Oklahoma at the Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. The neutral-site matchup against the defending co-national champions will take place 20 miles from the OU campus.
#21 Kentucky vs. #1 Oklahoma
Friday, Feb. 13 - 8 p.m. ET
Cox Arena, Oklahoma City
UK Info: Meet Notes (PDF)
TV: Sooner Sports TV
Live Results: SoonerSports.com
Text Updates: Subscribe
UK’s first visit to Oklahoma will be broadcast on Sooner Sports TV, available live on Fox Sports Southwest+ and Fox College Sports Central. Bart Conner and Kelly Garrison-Funderburk will have the call from Cox Arena. Live results can be found on SoonerSports.com, while additional notes and behind-the-scenes updates from OKC will be available on Twitter at @UKgymnastics.
Both the Wildcats (3-3, 1-3 SEC) and Sooners (9-0, 1-0 Big 12) are coming off season-high meets, both on the road. UK earned a 195.825-195.150 win at Missouri, while OU downed Iowa State, 198.150-195.675 in its first Big 12 contest of the season.
Kentucky’s win at Mizzou was highlighted by three individual event titles. Kentucky scored a season-high 49.150 on floor and a 49.000 on balance beam, two of UK’s three meet-high scores as the Wildcats improved to 3-0 vs. Missouri since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2013.
Oklahoma’s victory at Iowa State helped the Sooners move to No. 1 in the rankings on all four events. In its only dual meet against a Big 12 Conference foe this year, OU won individual and team event titles on each event.
IN THE RANKINGS
In addition to an average team score of 195.250 that is No. 21 nationally, UK is in the top 25 on three events. Kentucky’s floor exercise average of 48.915 is 17th, while the Wildcats are tied for No. 18 on uneven bars with a 48.905. UK is also 21st on beam with a 48.645 and 32nd on vault with a 48.785 average. Kentucky moved up at least three spots in the rankings on bars, beam and floor, highlighted by an eight-place jump on beam. In the last two weeks, UK has risen 11 spots on the event.
Oklahoma is ranked first in the country with a 197.579 average team score along with a No. 1 ranking on each event. The Sooners own a 49.467 average on vault, 49.438 on bars, 49.279 on beam and a 49.396 on floor.
Eight of UK’s 12 regular season opponents are ranked in the top 25, including three of the top four. The Wildcats opened the season against four ranked teams in their first four meets. Including Friday’s meet vs. Oklahoma, the two un-ranked opponents at the time they played UK was Washington, which is currently 17th, and Missouri.
|Click image for UK's Meet Notes (PDF)|
COUTING NO. 1 OKLAHOMA
Top-ranked Oklahoma enters the weekend with a perfect 9-0 record and a 1-0 mark in the three-team Big 12. The Sooners have scored a 197.625 or higher in all but one meet in 2015, with a season-best 198.150 on Feb. 6 at Iowa State. In addition to a No. 1 ranking on all four events, OU is represented 14 times in the individual top 25, with at least three ranked on each event. Haley Scamen is ranked in the top 15 in three events, highlighted by a No. 3 ranking on vault with a 9.938 average, while Chayse Capps is first on beam with a 9.917. Oklahoma is coached by KJ Kindler, in her ninth season after leading the Sooners to their first national title in 2014.
The Wildcats have begun to hit their stride on floor, their strongest event last season. UK is ranked 17th on the event with a 48.915 average. Much like in 2014, UK opened the season with three consecutive scores below 49.000 before breaking though with a 49.100 on Jan. 30 vs. Alabama. The following week at Missouri, UK notched a 49.150. Last season’s slow start gave way to eight consecutive weeks with a score of 49.000 or higher.
UP NEXT: VS. ARKANSAS, FEBRUARY 20
The Wildcats return home to host No. 14 Arkansas on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. During the meet, Jenny Hansen will have her jersey retired, and UK will honor its alumni. One of the most distinguished gymnastics athletes in NCAA history, Hansen is an eight-time NCAA champion and won nine SEC individual titles. She set and continues to hold every individual record in school history.
LAST TIME OUT: SEASON-HIGH SCORES SET IN WIN AT MIZZOU
Kentucky used season-high floor and balance beam scores to erase an early deficit and record a season-best score in a 195.825-195.150 win at Missouri on Feb. 6. Three Wildcats won event titles and UK posted meet-high team scores on three events. Kentucky trailed 97.850-97.675 after two events, but outscored Mizzou 98.150-97.300 in the final two rotations to secure the road victory.
Junior Montana Whittle and senior Shannon Mitchell each recorded a 9.875 to win beam, while sophomore Taylor Puryear tied for a win on floor with a 9.850. Whittle earned her first career event title, and Puryear her first of the season and second of her career. Mitchell’s win was the second of the season and seventh of her career.
UK opened with a meet-high 48.975 on bars before a 48.700 on vault. The comeback began with a 49.150 on floor, followed by a 49.000 on beam, both season highs and meet-best scores. Along with Mitchell, Puryear and Whittle, junior Marissa Beucler led the Wildcats with a 9.825 on bars and freshman Sydney Waltz posted a team-high 9.875.
The special #CompeteForKylie warmups the Wildcats wore during Jan. 30’s meet are being auctioned off to support DanceBlue. All money raised will benefit children with cancer who are treated at the UK Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. The auction can be found at http://bit.ly/UKGymDanceBlueAuction.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Gymnastics program, go to UKathletics.com. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKgymnastics and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKgymnastics.