Sarah Finnegan wasn’t having her best night.
LSU’s junior all-arounder posted a pair of 9.775s on bars and vault to start Friday night's meet at Florida between top 10 teams in Gainesville, Florida.
But when the Tigers needed her most on the final performance of the night and the Gators making a late charge, Finnegan did exactly what she needed to win it for her team.
With a 9.925 score on beam Finnegan clinched the 197.250-197.125 win for No. 1 LSU on the road at No. 7 Florida in front of a sold-out crowd.
"Going into beam, I kind of put myself into automatic mode," Finnegan said. "I told myself, 'Hey, you do this every single day. You know how to do this.' "
Finnegan’s clutch score also extended LSU’s winning streak in SEC dual meets to 12.
LSU already had secured a score of 197 or better before Finnegan stepped up for the final event, extending that streak to 25 consecutive meets.
The win wasn’t all Finnegan’s doing, though.
Erin Macadaeg and Myia Hambrick opened the beam with a pair of 9.900 scores to put Finnegan in position to seal it at the end.
Hambrick won the all-around competition on Friday after posting a score of 39.550, a big improvement from her score of 39.050 in the season opener.
As a team, LSU improved its score from 197.150 last week.
"They fought and fought and fought from the first performance to the last performance," said coach D-D Breaux. "We had a couple mistakes and they had to dig out of some holes, but they just kept doing everything we wanted them to do."
It was also a big night for Kennedi Edney, who returned fully from a minor injury that kept her to only one event last week. The reigning NCAA vault national champion gave LSU another 9.900 on floor, 9.800 on vault and 9.775 on beam.
The only thing LSU couldn’t do was match its huge start to the season on bars after it posted the second-highest score in program history for the event last week against Arkansas with 49.600.
The Tigers fell to 49.150 in the event on Friday. Every gymnast saw a drop in her bars score from last week.
Despite that, Edney narrowly lost out on another event crown, losing 9.925-9.900 to Florida’s Alex McMurtry.