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Power of Pink – Tide Gets the Win

The University of Alabama Campus was decorated for the “Power of Pink” night including Denny Chimes, the Ferguson Center, fraternity and sorority houses, even the dome of the University Recreation Center was glowing pink but center stage this evening was Coleman Coliseum. The walkways, lights, the fountain in the plaza of the Ferguson Center, and nearly all the fans were all decked out in pink to show support for breast cancer awareness. With luminary bags lighting the front sidewalks and walls of the home of the Alabama Gymnastics team, a sold out crowd of 15,075 entered the building to watch 5th ranked Alabama beat No. 15 Kentucky 196.575-194.800.

This was the Alabama Gymnastics’ ninth-annual Power of Pink meet and the Crimson Tide is 9-0 when raising awareness for breast cancer.  Patterson who is in her 35th year at the Capstone started the Power of Pink eight years ago and the program has grown each year. “I love it,” Patterson said. “There’s people working night and day to get this done. … Everybody just keeps helping it grow.”

Alabama is now 3-0 on the season with the win tonight and all three wins have been by more than a point over their opponents. Just to put that in perspective that is like beating your opponent by, let’s just say, 42-14 in football terms. Ring a bell with anyone?

The pink Tide started off with a very solid 49.175 on the vault but didn’t score a 9.9 or above like the other wins.  With the lead after the Wildcats fell behind 48.3 on the uneven bars, Alabama never looked back. Senior Ashley Sledge and junior Diandra Milliner led the way on the vault 9.875s.

Alabama’s season best came on the uneven bars with a 49.4.  Senior Ashley Priess and junior Kim Jacob set the tone with matching 9.9s. After Kentucky only scored a 48.650 on the vault, and boasting a whole point overall score better, the Tide moved onto the balance beam where Sophomore Kayla Williams also scored a 9.9 to lead the Tide there. Although, Alabama did score a 48.65 as a team after falls in its opening and closing routines on the balance beam. In the same rotation the Wildcats did well on floor exercise with a team score of 48.875.

The Tide bounced back on the floor exercise, scoring a season-best 49.350, led by Jacob’s 9.925 while Milliner and Gutierrez each had 9.9s. While Alabama was closing out the meet on the floor Kentucky’s best team score of the night came on beam when it scored a 48.975. Three Wildcats earned career-high or career-high tying marks on the event.

Jacob won her third straight all-around with a score of 39.275.

Alabama is now 3-0, 3-0 SEC and hits the road next week when they will face No. 9 Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum (Feb. 1). The loss was Kentucky’s first in a Southeastern Conference this season and falls to 4-2, 2-1 SEC.

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