CEDAR CITY -- Led by a season-best all-around score from All-American Kelly Evanson, the No. 13 BYU women's gymnastics team defeated in-state rival Southern Utah Friday night in Cedar City. Evanson's 39.300 in the all-around led the Cougars to a season-high score of 195.625, easily defeating Southern Utah and its score of 191.900.
Jeni Lopez stepped back into the all-around, tying her career high with a 39.050. Lopez did not perform on balance beam against Utah State, but came back strong with a 9.850 in the beam. Kari Dye, with a career-high of 38.875, and Jaime Mabray also competed in the all-around for the Cougars. Competing on the road for the fourth straight week, the Cougars continued their winning streak and improved on their team score yet again.
"We looked a little tired out there, but I'm proud of the way we fought through it," head coach Brad Cattermolesaid. "Feeling the way we did and scoring as well as we did, we're doing pretty well."
Brooke Craig provided some needed scoring help by performing on bars, beam and floor. Craig scored well in beam, performed for the first time of the season on floor and stepped in for Mindi Hilton on bars. Hilton, who nailed her bars routine with a 9.875 against Utah State, slightly injured her wrist in practice earlier in the week and Cattermole didn't want to rush her back into competition just yet.
"She's had surgery on that same wrist before, so we're just going to take it easy," Cattermole said. "She warmed up and probably could have gone, but we'll just give her a couple days rest and hope she can go next week."
Senior Angie Hickman notched a season-high on vault with a 9.875, matching Evanson's score in the event. Sophomore Megan Shupe scored a 9.775, also a season-high, in the vault to help the Cougars to a strong vault score. Candace Cosgrave really hit on her floor routine, scoring a season-high 9.825.
BYU will finally get its chance to have a home meet Friday night when it hosts Boise State and Utah State. BYU has defeated Utah State one time already this year and also knocked off the Aggies at home last season. The Cougars can hardly wait to compete in front of the hometown fans.
"All the girls are very excited to perform in front of the hometown fans," Cattermole said. "It will be nice to not have to travel, to sleep in our own beds and to perform on our own equipment. We just need to make sure we don't so excited that we goof it up."
Friday's meet will begin at 7 p.m. and the Cougars hope to use the home advantage to improve on their score and notch a couple of wins.