The No. 9 Alabama gymnastics team fell to No. 13 Kentucky 197.2 to 196.8 on the road Friday night at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky.

Although the Crimson Tide had the better ranking, the Wildcats were — and still are — on the upswing. This was Kentucky’s third consecutive score of 197 or better. Alabama still hasn’t broken 197 and continues to hold a season-high 196.9.

“We had a solid meet (Friday night) with some definite bright spots,” Alabama coach Dana Duckworth said. “We went 24-for-24 and fixed some of the issues we saw last week. We continue to have to shuffle our lineup for a variety of reasons, including some illness that we dealt with this week, but we have to continue to move forward no matter the circumstances and keep growing and getting better.”

UA started off its eighth meet of the year with a 49.2 on the uneven bars. It was highlighted by Alabama freshman Emily Gaskins’ 9.9 in the anchor spot.

Kentucky had a 0.025 lead coming out of the first rotation. That gap widened after the second, even though the Crimson Tide was on its best event.

On vault, Alabama put up a 49.125. Gaskins, again, had the best score among her teammates with a 9.85.

Shea Mahoney, who had just put up a 9.825 on vault, was showed by SEC Network+ on the trainer’s table before the third rotation began. The UA junior was visibly upset. She was supposed to go second on the floor exercise for the Crimson Tide but had to be taken out of the lineup. Sophomore transfer Tia Kiaku filled the void.

No further update was given on Mahoney, nor did Duckworth address it on the live stream.

Kiaku had competed only one other time for the Crimson Tide. The former Ball State gymnast scored a 9.675 at Georgia to make her Alabama debut. This time, she did much better, posting a 9.825.

UA ended up with a 49.25 on floor, led by Crimson Tide senior Abby Armbrecht’s 9.9. The Wildcats extended their advantage just a little bit more to 0.225.

Heading into the final rotation, Alabama needed a 49.425 on balance beam to finally score a 197 overall. The team’s beam season high was a 49.25. UA topped that with a 49.225, but it obviously was not enough to finally push Alabama over the 197 hump or beat Kentucky.

Regional qualifying scores come out Monday, which could really shake up the rankings. Then, on Friday, Alabama hosts Auburn in Coleman Coliseum.


Uneven bars
Angelina Giancroce, 9.725
Lexi Graber, 9.8
Ariana Guerra, 9.85
Shea Mahoney, 9.825
Kylie Dickson, 9.825
Emily Gaskins, 9.9
Maddie Desch, 9.675
Shea Mahoney, 9.825
Abby Armbrecht, 9.825
Emily Gaskins, 9.85
Shallon Olsen, 9.8
Lexi Graber, 9.825
Floor exercise
Maddie Desh, 9.85
Tia Kiaku, 9.825
Shallon Olsen, 9.775
Abby Armbrecht, 9.9
Emily Gaskins, 9.8
Ariana Guerra, 9.875
Balance beam
Alonza Klopfer, 9.85
Maddie Desch, 9.8
Shallon Olsen, 9.8
Abby Armbrech, 9.9
Emily Gaskins, 9.85
Lexi Graber, 9.825