No. 14 Auburn welcomed No. 20 Missouri to the Auburn Arena and earned their second win of the season, taking down the visiting Tigers 196.700 to 196.650. Auburn notched a season-high final score along with season-best team scores on vault and bars.
The Tigers started strong. In addition to the team season-high vault score 49.275, Drew Watson scored a personal best 9.95. Freshman Cassie Stevens followed suite with a best of 9.85. Skyler Sheppard also set a personal best with a 9.8.
The initial momentum is what propelled Auburn ahead, putting distance between the two Tiger teams early on.
Another 49.275 came on the bars along with another season-high team score. Freshman Aria Brusch scored a 9.9, setting yet another personal record for the Tigers while further proving the freshmen are able to carry the weight and expectations placed on them. Derrian Gobourne anchored the event with a 9.875.
On the beam, Auburn earned a 49.100 with four Tigers each scoring a 9.825. Even though it looked like Auburn’s momentum was running out, the Tigers still managed to score just enough to keep the win out of Missouri’s grasp.
From the floor, Auburn earned a 49.050, which was just enough to get the job done. Brusch and Watson each earned a 9.85 with Sheppard scoring a 9.825.
Once again, Watson and Stevens represented Auburn in the all-around. Stevens set another career best of the night with a 39.300.
Despite Missouri’s best efforts to catch up, the visiting Tigers were unable to catch Auburn’s lead established in the first rotation. Drew Watson proved key to her team by starting strong, finishing strong and giving Auburn the initial push they needed.
Even though the Tigers set a season-high final score and earned their second season win, head coach Jeff Graba believes there is still progress to be made.
“We had a pretty good score, but I do believe our fatigue was showing a little bit tonight,” Graba said. “We need to rest up and fix some little things. But for the most part I thought we had a pretty good night.” The Tigers will travel to Georgia February 2 to take on the Bulldogs at 3 p.m. CT.