Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Razorback gymnastics goes big, beats Auburn
Bailey Lovett reacts after her bar routine, Friday, January 24, 2020 during a gymnastics meet at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville. Check out nwaonline.com/photos/ for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo) Arkansas Gymnastics hosted Kentucky.
Needing a clean balance beam routine to polish off tight road meet at No. 12 Auburn on Friday night, the No. 8 University of Arkansas GymBacks delivered in a big way.
The Razorbacks posted a school-record score for the second time this season and improved to 2-2 in road meets with a 197.425 to 197.125 win at Auburn Arena.
Razorback sophomore Bailey Lovett was nearly flawless at 9.95 to win the beam, then junior Kennedy Hambrick, who won the all-around with her second sizzling 39.7 of the season, nailed it down with 9.9 in the anchor position.
Hambrick, who also claimed the vault title with a 9.95, edged out Auburn’s Cassie Stevens (39.225) for the all-around crown.
Paced by 9.925s from Hambrick and Jensen Scalzo, the Razorbacks came out swinging with a strong 49.425 on the uneven bars to take an early lead they would not relinquish.
Arkansas (3-5) led by .125 at the halfway point, then increased its lead to .250 with a 49.45 on its best event, the floor exercise. Auburn’s Derrian Gobourne won the floor (9.975), but Razorbacks Lovett (9.95), Sophia Carter (9.95) and Hambrick (9.925) all scored better than 9.9.
The Razorbacks evened their all-time record against Auburn (1-7) at 19-19.
The Razorbacks, hitting program records under second-year Coach Jordyn Wieber, have an open date next weekend before the SEC meet on March 20 in Huntsville, Ala.
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