ATHENS-----No. 1 Florida posted the nation's highest score to date and beat fourth-ranked Georgia 197.725-196.600 in front of 9,794 fans Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum.
Despite the loss Georgia (6-3, 2-2 SEC) scored higher than a 49.0 on each event for the first time this season, and also posted its highest two and three-rotation scores of the year. Georgia and Florida gymnasts combined for 16 scores of 9.9 or higher.
"Florida looked top-to-bottom every bit as advertised," said Georgia head coach Jay Clark. "We didn't compete with much confidence and that's got to come from within. We as coaches have to figure out how to get them to compete with confidence. The great thing about our sport is that all hope is not lost. You've got time to rebound, and March and April are very important, as we have learned from the past."
Florida (7-0, 4-0 SEC) took a 49.425-49.175 lead after the first rotation. The Gym Dogs posted their second highest vault score of the season behind a 9.875 by Cassidy McComb and a pair of 9.85s by Noel Couch and Hilary Mauro.
In the second rotation, three Gym Dogs tied or matched career highs on bars. McComb had a 9.9 in the No. 4 spot, followed by a career-best 9.925 by Shayla Worley, then Kat Ding matched her career-high score of 9.975 in the anchor position. Georgia's 49.25 on bars was its second-highest score of the season on the event, and Florida led 98.825-98.425 entering the third rotation.
Georgia's 98.425 at the halfway point was its best score after two rotations this season.
Florida extended its lead to 148.35-147.5 after the third rotation behind a 49.525 on floor. On the balance beam, Georgia scored a 49.075 highlighted by a season-high 9.9 by Mauro and a 9.825 by Lindsey Cheek.
In the final rotation, Georgia scored a 49.100 on floor led by a season-high 9.925 by Mauro and a 9.9 by McComb. The Gators scored a 49.375 on the balance beam.
Florida freshman Alaina Johnson won the all-around with a 39.675. McComb posted a 39.475 for Georgia, her second-best all-around score this season.
"I thought there was some fight," Clark said. "We started out rough on bars and came roaring back with the back four. They did a fantastic job. We are one or two routines shy right now of being a championship team. We've got to find that within this group."
Georgia returns to action Feb. 18 at LSU. The meet is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by CSS.
1. Florida - 197.725 (Vault - 49.4, Bars - 49.425, Beam - 49.375, Floor - 49.525)
2. Georgia - 196.600 (Vault - 49.175, Bars - 49.25, Beam - 49.075, Floor - 49.100)
Georgia Individual Results
Vault (49.175): Cat Hires - 9.75; Noel Couch - 9.85; Mariel Box - 9.775; Lindsey Cheek - 9.825; Cassidy McComb - 9.875; Hilary Mauro - 9.85
Bars (49.25): Christa Tanella - 9.575; Noel Couch - 9.225; Gina Nuccio - 9.875; Cassidy McComb - 9.9; Shayla Worley - 9.925; Kat Ding - 9.975
Beam (49.075): Noel Couch - 9.775; Lindsey Cheek - 9.825; Christa Tanella - 9.775; Hilary Mauro - 9.9; Shayla Worley - 9.725; Cassidy McComb - 9.8
Floor (49.100): Christa Tanella - 9.825; Noel Couch - 9.050; Gina Nuccio - 9.85; Shayla Worley - 9.6; Cassidy McComb - 9.9; Hilary Mauro - 9.925