Georgia’s Amanda Cashman flips on the bars. The University of Georgia beat Auburn 197.425-196.350 on Feb. 2, 2020, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/ Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

Georgia gymnastics fell 197.2-196.375 to No. 5 LSU on Friday night to earn its second conference loss at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.

Despite Georgia earning its best overall score this season, the Tigers outscored the GymDogs in every event to dominate the meet.  

“We had a really strong finish tonight and saw improvements across the board,” said head coach Courtney Kupets Carter. “We hit a lot of goals in this meet and many of the gymnasts hit their best scores.”

Georgia began the night on bars with Haley de Jong leading the charge for the GymDogs. The sophomore earned a 9.875 in the event, followed by Megan Roberts’ 9.85 and Emily Schild’s 9.8. Amanda Cashman and Rachel Baumann each scored a 9.775 to round out the event.

The GymDogs moved to vault for their second event where they scored a 49.0 even. Roberts earned the most points for Georgia with a 9.85, followed close by Cashman’s 9.825. The remaining three gymnasts on the lineup, de Jong, Rachael Lukacs and Abbey Ward, all scored 9.775 apiece to finish the event. 

Georgia’s highest event score of the night was recorded on floor as the GymDogs earned an overall 49.175. Sterlyn Austin and Cashman each scored a 9.875 in the event. Austin’s performance on the mat won her a career-high score, which was followed by Alyssa Perez-Lugones’ 9.825. Roberts and Soraya Hawthorne each scored a 9.8 on floor.

Despite not outscoring the Tigers in any of Friday night’s events, the GymDogs’ performance on the balance beam was the best the team has seen this season. Georgia continued its trend of multiple lineup changes in the particular event as Lukacs and Finnegan got their first look at the beam this season, earning a 9.8 and 9.75, respectively. 

The GymDogs are continuing to work through various injuries and are slowly beginning to phase in certain gymnasts into competition, such as Lukacs, Finnegan and Cashman after her season-ending Achilles tear last February.

“We still have a few athletes out with injuries and our lineups keep changing, but everyone is stepping up and doing their part,” Kupets Carter said. “We are getting there and I’m happy with the continued progress.”

Georgia will return home to Athens next week to take on Arkansas at Stegeman Coliseum on Jan. 29.