BATON ROUGE - In front of the largest crowd in school history with 8,574 fans in attendance, the fourth-ranked LSU gymnastics team posted the highest team score since 2008 with a 197.500, but it was not enough to beat No. 5 Alabama who finished with a 197.725 Friday night in the Maravich Center.
The meet marked the Sixth Annual Etta James Memorial Meet to raise money for Foundation 56, an organization created by former LSU football star and current NFL linebacker Bradie James to fight breast cancer. It was announced after the meet that LSU and the local community raised $95,042 for Foundation 56, bringing the six-year total to more than $345,000 to support the fight against the disease in the local community.
Lloimincia Hall ended the meet in style with a perfect 10.0 on floor, her second 10 of the season in the event. She scored her first career 10 at Missouri on Feb. 8, and she is the only gymnast in the country with two 10's this season.
For the seventh time in 10 meets this year, Rheagan Courville won the all-around title as she tied her career high with a 39.600.
LSU (9-4) posted the second-best vault total in school history with a 49.600, and the Tigers also added a 49.350 on floor, 49.300 on bars and 49.250 on beam to finish with a 197.500.
The final score ranks as the eighth-best score in school history, and it is the highest for the Tigers since April 12, 2008 when LSU scored a 197.625.
"It was a tremendous team effort, and our team will be better for this effort tonight," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "However, we gave it away and didn't stick some landings that were critical in the outcome of the meet, and that is something we will work tirelessly on to improve going forward."
Ranked as the No. 2 team nationally on vault, LSU delivered a fantastic performance with the 49.600. Courville, Kaleigh Dickson, Randi Lau and Sarie Morrison all tallied a 9.925. Jessie Jordan posted a 9.90, and Britney Taylor added a 9.875. The 9.925 marked a new career high for Dickson, while the 9.925 for Lau and the 9.90 for Jordan equaled their career bests.
LSU led Alabama 49.600-49.350 after the first rotation, and the Tigers moved to bars where they posted a 49.300. Courville, Morrison and Randii Wyrick all scored a 9.925 to tie for the event title, and Britney Ranzy earned a career-high 9.825. Lloimincia Hall recorded a 9.70 to add to the final total.
After two rotations LSU held on to a slight lead 98.900-98.875 heading to beam, and the Tigers earned the second-best total of the season with a 49.250. Jordan led the way with a 9.875 from the anchor spot, and Courville and Hall posted 9.85's. In her final performance in the Maravich Center, senior Ericka Garcia matched her career high with a 9.85 from the leadoff spot. Randii Wyrick scored a 9.825 in her first beam routine as a Tiger, and Taylor added a 9.80.
LSU closed out the meet with a 49.350 on floor, highlighted by Hall's perfect 10. Courville and Jessica Savona recorded 9.90's, and the Tigers also counted 9.775's from Taylor and Wyrick.
Alabama improved to 6-2-1 on the season after scoring a 49.525 on vault, 49.350 on bars, 49.350 on beam and 49.500 on floor to finish with a 197.725.
The crowd of 8,574 shattered the previous school record attendance of 7,717 set on Feb. 22, 2008 in the inaugural Etta James Memorial Meet against Alabama.
LSU heads to Raleigh, N.C., to face North Carolina State at 6 p.m. CT on March 15. Live audio will be available free of charge in the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net/live.
1. Alabama 197.725 (VT - 49.525, UB - 49.350, BB - 49.350, FX - 49.500)
2. LSU 197.500 (VT - 49.600, UB - 49.300, BB - 49.250, FX - 49.350)
Individual (Includes first place and all LSU competitors)
All-Around - 1. Rheagan Courville 39.600