Feb. 1, 2002

ATHENS, Ga. - In one of its biggest matchups of the season, the Oklahoma women's gymnastics team dropped a heartbreaker to No. Georgia on Friday at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia edged the Sooners with a 196.850, while Oklahoma posted a 196.350. The two teams were tied after three events but Georgia pulled away for a win with a 49.425 team score on the floor exercise.

The Sooners were led by senior Mariana Goncalves, sophomore Kasie Tamayo and junior Patricia Aoki. Goncalves posted a second place finish on the vault with a career-high 9.950 and a third place finish on the bars with a 9.875. Aoki tied for first on the beam with a 9.875, while Tamayo had a second-place showing on the floor with a career-high 9.950. Tamayo and Goncalves placed second and third in the all-around with scores of 39.375 and 39.350, respectively.

"It's obvious from this meet that Oklahoma is building some character," said OU head coach Steve Nunno. "Everyone has been working and practicing hard and it showed tonight. When we come into meets, we try not to think about what the other team is doing. With our last event left, the beam, I told the team we had to play our game and in the end it will turn out well for us.

"I thought on the vault, Mariana Goncalves and Leah Mueller did a great job carrying our team. We need big performances from our team leaders to great job. I think we have gotten where we are because of our assistant coaches, Nilson Savage and Jenny Rowland."

The Sooners are back in action on Friday, Feb. 8, against Florida at the Lloyd Noble Center. Meet time is set for 7 p.m.