Shannon Hortman Evans earned BYU's highest individual and all-around scores of the season as the No. 19 Cougars beat No. 10 Denver and Southern Utah on Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"I couldn't be more proud of our performance," BYU head coach Guard Young. "We're super excited that we're starting to get those great performances and scores."
BYU finished with its highest team score since 2005, a 196.625. Southern Utah received a 196.075, while Denver followed with a 195.975
Evans received the highest score of the season for the Cougars, with a 9.950 on floor. Her performance led BYU to a 49.375 on the floor—its highest team score on any event this season. Evans also achieved a career-high all-around score of 39.425. Jill Van Mierlo came just shy of her career high in the all-around, with a 39.300.
"I've dreamed about it for so long," Evans said of one individual judge awarding her a 10.0. "You work so hard for this, so it's the coolest feeling ever."
BYU began the night on the vault, where the Cougars earned a season-high 49.050 as a team. Avery Bennett led the way with a 9.875 for the third-straight meet. Evans and Haley Pitou followed with scores of 9.825 and 9.800, respectively. Southern Utah's 49.225 on the bars put the Thunderbirds in first place after one rotation. Denver scored a 49.000 on floor to follow just behind BYU.
Abby Boden and Pitou both earned a 9.850 on bars to highlight the Cougars' second rotation. For Boden, the mark was a career high. As a team, BYU received a 49.150 for the rotation. The Cougars grabbed the lead with a 98.200 overall score. The Pioneers followed closely behind with a 98.175, while the Thunderbirds stood at 97.650.
On beam, Natasha Marsh Trejo put up BYU's best score with a 9.875. Boden followed with a 9.850, and Evans received a score of 9.775 to round out the Cougars' top three. After BYU's team score of 48.950, the Cougars had an overall score of 147.250 and were sandwiched between Denver (147.525) and Southern Utah (146.975).
Van Mierlo's season high of 9.875 on the floor followed Briana Pearson's 9.850. Evans' career-high 9.950 topped the final rotation for BYU. The Cougars ended floor with a 49.375, the highest team event score and highest score on floor of the season.
Southern Utah took second with a 196.075, while Denver finished with a 195.975. However, Denver's Maddie Karr won the all-around with a 39.750 after scoring a 9.900 or better on every event.