By Jacob Most
Feb. 15, 2013 -
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 17th-ranked Kentucky gymnastics team dug deep on the final rotation to squeak out a 194.250-194.125 victory over Missouri on Friday inside Memorial Coliseum.
The Wildcats (5-3-1, 3-2-1 SEC) trailed Missouri (1-7, 0-5 SEC) by .725 entering the last act of the evening, but the hosts dug deep on floor exercise and mounted a late comeback.
Audrey Harrison was the lone all-around competitor posting a 39.3, which tied her career-high set last week. The junior also won balance beam, and shared the honors on uneven bars and floor exercise.
The Knoxville, Tenn., native now has 12 individual event honors this season and 19 in her career. Her five all-around wins in 2013 have all come against Southeastern Conference competition.
Shannon Mitchell tied Harrison for the floor title, her second of the season and the third of her career.
The Wildcats were on their way to a solid team score before stumbling on beam. With their backs against the wall for the second consecutive meet, the Wildcats had just six routines remaining to try and claw their way back into it.
Feeding off last week's experience Kentucky found a way.
Tiara Phipps and Alexis Gross produced quality 9.8s to ramp up the home crowd's energy. Kenzie Hedges then notched a 9.75 before Mitchell and Harrison produced the best two floor routines of the night to clinch the victory.
"We can take a little bit of positive out of a lot of the things we did, but overall, we didn't accomplish what we wanted to tonight," UK head coach Tim Garrison said. "It's a four event meet, you have to hit four events. The problem is we've done this numerous times now.
"It's time to hit a meet. It's time to string a few meets together. They've worked hard enough to do that. They deserve to do that."
Kentucky got off to a promising start as Marissa Beucler began the evening on vault with a career-high 9.725. Her fellow-freshman Jill Chappel went 9.8 before Harrison got herself off to a solid start in the all-around with a 9.725. Holly Cunningham tied her career high 9.85 and Shelby Hilton notched a solid 9.725.
Kentucky trailed 48.8-49.075 following the first rotation.
The Wildcats soared to a season-high 49.15 on bars with Harrison posting her third 9.9 of the season on the event as the highlight. Kayla Hartley shined in her routine with a career high 9.85. Alexis Gross anchored in stellar fashion with a collegiate-best-tying 9.875. Sara Shipley went 9.75 and Shelby Hilton went 9.775.
The top score on bars gave Kentucky a 98.05-97.4 lead after two stanzas.
After the mishaps on beam the Wildcats recovered to seal the victory and go two meets over .500. Kentucky now has a school-record three SEC wins this season. UK is 2-1-1 at home in 2013.
The meet will air Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Kentucky travels to Florida next Friday in the SEC regular season finale.
1) UK 194.250
2) MU 194.125
UK: VAULT: 48.900, BARS: 49.150, BEAM: 47.150, FLOOR: 49.050
VAULT: Holly Cunningham 9.850, Jill Chappel 9.800, Kenzie Hedges 9.800, Marissa Beucler 9.725, Audrey Harrison 9.725, Shelby Hilton 9.725
BARS: Audrey Harrison 9.900, Alexis Gross 9.875, Kayla Hartley 9.850, Shelby Hilton 9.775, Sara Shipley 9.750, Kayla Sienkowski 9.575
BEAM: Audrey Harrison 9.825, Shannon Mitchell 9.775, Alexis Gross 9.575, Sara Shipley 9.025, Kayla Sienkowski 8.950, Marissa Beucler 8.600
FLOOR: Shannon Mitchell 9.850, Audrey Harrison 9.850, Tiarra Phipps 9.800, Alexis Gross 9.800, Kenzie Hedges 9.750, Kayla Hartley 9.700
All-Around: Audrey Harrison 39.300
1) Rachel Updike (MU) 9.875
2) Holly Cunningham (UK) 9.850
3) Jill Chappel (UK) 9.800, Kenzie Hedges (UK) 9.800
5) Tori Howard (MU) 9.725, Marissa Beucler (UK) 9.725, Audrey Harrison (UK) 9.725, Shelby Hilton (UK) 9.725
9) Sandra Ostad (MU) 9.675
10) Cathryn Aliceaacosta (MU) 9.550
11) Laura Kappler (MU) 9.500
12) Miranda Eubank (MU) 9.200
1) Miranda Eubank (MU) 9.900, Audrey Harrison (UK) 9.900
3) Alexis Gross (UK) 9.875
4) Rachel Updike (MU) 9.850, Taylor Medrea (MU) 9.850, Kayla Hartley (UK) 9.850
7) Mackenzie McGill (MU) 9.775, Shelby Hilton (UK) 9.775
9) Sara Shipley (UK) 9.750
10) Sandra Ostad (MU) 9.700
11) Laura Kappler (MU) 9.675
12) Kayla Sienkowski (UK) 9.575
1) Audrey Harrison (UK) 9.825
2) Shannon Mitchell (UK) 9.775, Rachel Updike (MU) 9.775
4) Mackenzie McGill (MU) 9.725
5) Cathryn Aliceaacosta (MU) 9.650
6) Alexis Gross (UK) 9.575
7) Rachel Henderson (MU) 9.550
8) Tori Howard (MU) 9.500
9) Taylor Medrea (MU) 9.075
10) Sara Shipley (UK) 9.025
11) Kayla Sienkowski (UK) 8.950
12) Marissa Beucler (UK) 8.600
1) Shannon Mitchell (UK) 9.850, Audrey Harrison (UK) 9.850
3) Tori Howard (MU) 9.800, Tiarra Phipps (UK) 9.800, Alexis Gross (UK) 9.800
6) Sandra Ostad (MU) 9.750, Kenzie Hedges (UK) 9.750
8) Taylor Medrea (MU) 9.725
9) Kayla Hartley (UK) 9.700
10) Miranda Eubank (MU) 9.675
11) Cathryn Aliceaacosta (MU) 9.575
12) Laura Kappler (MU) 8.200
1) Audrey Harrison (UK) 39.300