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April 20, 2013

Hopes for team’s first national title alive and well

LOS ANGELES — In previous NCAA championships, the Oklahoma women have fallen disappointingly and unexpectedly short of the so-called Super Six.

The Sooners did not make it with great room to spare, but still advanced Friday night at Pauley Pavilion, earning their way into team finals, looking for the program’s first national championship.

Florida topped the afternoon session with 197.775 points. LSU was second in the first session with 197.325 points, and Georgia had 197.150 to take the third spot in the finals Saturday.

Two-time defending national champion Alabama won the night session at 197.350, Oklahoma was second at 197.200, and UCLA third with an identical 197.200.

Florida’s Bridget Sloan, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, had an all-around score of 39.600, the best in both sessions, to lead the Gators. She had marks of 9.875 in the vault, 9.925 in the bars, 9.900 on the beam, and 9.900 in floor exercise.

The Sooners advanced on balance and consistency, scoring between 49.150 (beam) and 49.500 (bars) in each of the four disciplines.

Madison Mooring posted OU’s best score on the vault, a 9.900. On the bars, it was Erica Brewer with a 9.950. On the beam, Brewer came through with a 9.875, while Bri Olson led on the floor with a score of 9.900.

Taylor Spears was the only Sooner to compete on all four disciplines, posting an all-around score 39.35. Spears was consistent, scoring between 9.800 and 9.9000 in each of her performances.

Brewer’s 9.950 was the best performance of the day on the bars and one of nine individual top 10 event performances put forth by the Sooners, setting them up well for Sunday’s event finals.

Still, the main event comes this evening, when a national champion will be crowned. Ranked No. 1 for a portion of the season, OU’s hoping its time has come.

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