March 7, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The fifth-ranked Alabama gymnastics team travels to Baton Rouge for a rematch with No. 4 LSU on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. CT in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Crimson Tide opened its home schedule with a 196.575-195.525 win over the Tigers on Jan. 18. After posting its third-highest score of the season last Friday against No. 6 UCLA, UA head coach Sarah Patterson is looking for her team to continue to improve as it finishes off the regular-season over the next two weeks.
"I look at where we match up right now and the scores that we've had and I feel like we're on an upward trend," Patterson said. "We're on Jan. 18 in the Top 5 in the county, but the last three scores have been our best.
Junior Kim Jacob led the Tide against UCLA, winning her fifth all-around of the season by tying her career-best score with a 39.425. Jacob also posted her seventh consecutive score of a 9.9 or above on the floor exercise with a career-best tying 9.95, sharing top honors on the event with fellow junior Diandra Milliner who was named the SEC Specialist of the Week after tying her career-best score on the floor.
Alabama's trip to Baton Rouge marks the Tide's ninth meet of the season and eighth against Southeastern Conference competition. It is also the Tide's third breast cancer awareness meet of the season, the first two coming at Missouri and at home against Kentucky. Alabama is 19-0 all-time when wearing its pink leotards. Undefeated at home this season, LSU is coming off a PMAC win over No. 8 Georgia last week which followed a road loss to Auburn the week before.
The last time Alabama made the trip to Baton Rouge was February 23, 2012, when Alabama beat the Tigers 197.025-196.575. This is the first time in several years that the Tide and Tigers have faced each other in a home and home series.
"We looked at what's the best competition, who has good equipment, who puts us in a good scenario in terms of how we prepare our team - and LSU certainly fit the bill," Patterson said. "I could take our team all the way out to California and compete against teams in that area, but it's a lot of travel and a lot of expense when we could get the No. 4 team in the country in a very competitive environment just a short hop away."
Saturday's meet will be televised on Cox Sports on a tape delayed basis. It will be broadcast live on WVUA-Radio 90.7 FM in the Tuscaloosa area as well as on the internet via wvuafm.ua.edu. Fans can follow along via Twitter @BamaGymnastics and on Facebook at BamaGymnastics. Live scoring and a link to the radio broadcast will also be available on RollTide.com.