No. 20 Auburn went on the road Friday night and came away with a big win against No. 14 Arkansas in its penultimate SEC matchup.
The Tigers executed well on the road beating the Razorbacks 196.500-196.025 in a thrilling conference showdown. Auburn picked up its first win since Jan. 24, making it the first win for the Tigers in four contests.
"I'm really happy with tonight's effort and every single person was dialed in,” said Jeff Graba.
This was Auburn’s first win in Fayetteville since 2014.
The Tigers got off to a solid start as they battled the Razorbacks in the first rotation on bars. Junior Drew Watson and senior Gracie Day put up a pair of 9.850’s which helped Auburn gain much needed momentum out of the gate. At the end of the first rotation the Razorbacks led 49.100-49.000.
"The team is really starting to support each other and we're seeing the success we can have when we do that,” Graba said.
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Vault has been one of the strongest events for the Tigers all season and Friday night was no different. Watson was able to provide one of the highlights of the night as the junior scored a 9.975 on the vault. This score marked a career-high for Watson.
Coach Graba spoke about how important it was for the Tigers to put up a big performance on the vault.
"We weren't great on bars, but we go to vault and they knock it out of the park," Graba said.
Cassie Stevens, Day and Derrian Gobourne also scored in the 9.900’s to round out a great performance from Auburn in the second rotation. The Tigers led the Razorbacks 98.400-97.450 after two rotations.
"It was great to see because that's what this team is capable of,” Graba said.
Auburn went to the floor routine in its third rotation and was led by a strong performance from Derrian Gobourne. Gobourne, the sophomore from Sarasota, Florida, scored a 9.900 after not participating in the floor event last Friday night against Florida. Gobourne spoke about the chemistry the team had Friday night.
"We had so much fun tonight. Even though it wasn't a perfect meet, we were still together, and it was just a lot of fun," Gobourne said.
Freshman Aria Brusch scored a 9.800 and Watson delivered a 9.850 on floor to give Auburn the lead after the third rotation 147.325-146.65.
Auburn closed out strong on the beam and made sure to secure a victory in Fayetteville in the fourth rotation.
Skylar Sheppard lead the way on beam with a 9.875. The senior from Plano, Texas, tied her career-high on the beam with that score.
Stevens, Brusch and Sylvia also scored in the 9.850’s to help the Tigers finish with a 49.175 on the beam.
It was the complete meet that this team has been looking for down the stretch.
"We came in wanting to have a good attitude and good focus and I think we did that tonight on all four events," Graba said.
Friday, Feb. 28 is Senior Night for Auburn and the Tigers will honor five of them. Katie Becker, Gracie Day, Kendall Moss, Skylar Sheppard and Emma Slappey will be highlighted in Auburn’s last meet of 2020.
The Tigers will face Texas Woman’s University next Friday night at 7 p.m. CST inside Auburn Arena.
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