NORMAN, Okla. -- It was a meet of inches for the No. 2 Oklahoma women's gymnastics team.
The Sooners were stellar on three of four events, but came up uncharacteristically short on beam in a 197.650-197.325 loss to the No. 3 LSU Tigers on Sunday afternoon in Norman. OU topped the Tigers on three of four events, posting season-high efforts on vault, bars and floor on the evening.
“We had three really incredible events tonight, I thought," head coach K.J. Kindler said. "Vault, bars and floor, obviously. We set ourselves up to be successful tonight but just couldn’t come through on beam. We’ve usually been on the winning side of the balance beam and tonight we weren’t. It just reminds you that there is no inch, no possibility to make those little errors because they can become big errors like that."
Sophomore Haley Scaman shone for the Sooners on every event she competed, winning titles on bars and floor behind a trio of 9.9+ efforts. Scaman posted a new career-high of 9.925 on bars and tied her best of 9.975 on floor to take home top honors on both events.
Oklahoma opened with a huge start on vault, exploding for a season-high 49.525 behind four vaults of 9.9 or higher. Freshman Chayse Capps paced OU with a career-high 9.95 to finish second overall. Madison Mooring, Keeley Kmieciak and Haley Scaman all tied for fifth with identical scores of 9.9. Kmieciak and Scaman's vaults marked each sophomore's fifth vault of 9.9+ this season.
LSU picked up a 49.225 on bars in the first rotation behind a 9.925 from Sarie Morrison. With one event down, Oklahoma carried a 49.525-49.225 lead over the Tigers.
OU's momentum carried to bars, where the Sooners earned a 49.475 for another team season-high. Scaman was among the best for Oklahoma again, earning the event title with a career-high 9.925 to tie with LSU's Morrison. The Sooners' leadoff and anchor routines were also crucial, with Kmieciak and freshman McKenzie Wofford each earning 9.9 efforts to tie for third overall.
The Tigers posted an impressive effort on vault in their second event of the night, posting a 49.600. Morrison led LSU for the second rotation in a row, earning a 9.975. OU maintained its lead over the Tigers after two events, holding a 99.000-98.825 advantage.
The Sooners experienced uncharacteristic struggles on beam in the third rotation, battling to a 48.800. Kmieciak and junior Erica Brewer led the way, picking up 9.875 efforts in the No. 1 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Spears added a 9.85 to aid the Sooners.
LSU earned a 49.500 on floor in their third event of the evening, led by a 9.95 from Llomincia Hall. The Tigers edged past OU for the lead with only one event remaining, 148.325-147.800.
Oklahoma moved to floor knowing it could not surrender an inch in its final event of the evening. The Sooners rose to the occasion with everything they had, earning a season-high 49.525 behind Scaman's team-high 9.975. Senior Lara Albright also posted a career-best of 9.925, while Capps tied her own career mark of 9.9 on the event.
Despite OU's best efforts, the Sooners could not overcome the Tigers in the final rotation. A 9.9 from Ashleigh Gnat led LSU to a 49.325 on beam and a 197.650-197.325 victory over Oklahoma.
“We have it in us," true freshman Chayse Capps said. "We’ve done it many times before, so it just gives us more motivation to work hard in the gym this week and go get it next weekend.”
The Sooners return to the road next weekend, heading to Fort Worth, Texas for the annual Metroplex Challenge at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The Feb. 15 is a rematch opportunity for OU against the Tigers when the Sooners face LSU, Arizona and Kentucky at 7 p.m. CT.