No. 9 Hawkeyes Down Minnesota, UIC in Home Opener

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The ninth-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team won its 2020 home debut over No. 10 Minnesota and No. 19 UIC inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Iowa recorded its second-highest team score of the season with a 400.00, while Minnesota tallied a 397.600 and UIC finished with a score of 355.600.

Sophomore Evan Davis won the rings event (13.500) and tied his career best score. Senior Brandon Wong came in second on rings with 13.350. Wong earned his career best on vault (14.100).
Bennet Huang won the all-around with 81.050 and earned his season best on the high bar (13.500).

“Any Big Ten win is fantastic, even at this point in the season. There’s a lot of things to iron out on both sides. Being at home the first meet and the freshman getting to experience coming out of the tunnel their first time and getting the win at home is just fantastic. It’s a great amount of motivation going into next week.”

“What you’re looking for week-to-week are the things that aren’t quite up to par. We should see this happen from a number of guys. If they started lower then there should be improvements every week. The idea is to get everybody at that point.”

“A win is incredibly motivating. We needed that. We’re going into Oklahoma, which is going to be fairly stiff competition. The game is to continue to get better week-to-week, practice-to-practice, weekend-to-weekend and make sure that the meets continue to rise in score. The stuff that were looking at and focusing on is showing up out on the floor and in front of the judges. And that we are conscious with intent on what we are doing out there. We saw a lot of that tonight, but there’s still plenty that we have to work on.”

“One of our goals this year is to be undefeated at home. So we really put that on the guys to make sure we step up and defend our home and that we’re not losing here. This win feels really good. Coming in to a home crowd was really cool. Everyone was excited and we kept the energy up. I thought we did a good job.”

“We’re definitely going to stay humble just because we still have a lot of work to do. We have a lot more to show. This isn’t the best that we have, so we’re definitely going into this week training hard, making sure that we can do all we need to do to prepare for Oklahoma.”

“It feels good to finally be at a point where I can be in the gym, training hard, but also pushing people. It just feels good to come out and be able to hit what I’m supposed to be doing and getting those career highs. It’s my last year, so it’s the time to shine.”

The Hawkeyes scored a 67.750 on the floor exercise. Junior Bennet Huang led the Hawkeyes on the floor (14.000). Junior Kulani Taylor garnered his season-best score of 13.850, almost tying his career-best 13.900. Freshman Carter Tope scored a 13.500, respectively. Sophomore Stewart Brown earned a new season-best of 13.400. Sophomore Evan Davis earned a 13.100.

The Hawkeyes posted 64.400 on the pommel horse. Huang led the event for the Hawkeyes with a 13.350. Senior Nick Merryman posted a 13.100, respectively. Davis earned an 11.950. Senior Mitch Mandozzi garnered 11.200 for his floor performance. Tope and Chung both put up 13.100.

The Hawkeyes collected a score of 65.800 on the still rings. Davis won the event and tied his career best score of 13.500. Senior Brandon Wong scored 13.350 and finished second. Huang and Merryman both posted a score of 13.050. Freshman Reuven Anderson scored a 12.850. Brown earned a 12.450 for his performance followed by Tope (11.200).

The Hawkeyes scored a team total of 70.850 on vault. Mandozzi led the Hawkeyes with 14.400. Brown earned a score of 14.250 for his performance. Huang, Wong, and Davis all posted 14.100. Wong surpassed his former career best (14.050). Freshman Amari Sewell made his vault debut with 14.000. Tope scored 13.850.

The Hawkeyes score a collective 65.900 on the parallel bars. Merryman led the Hawkeyes with a score of 13.600. Tope posted his season best (13.400). Huang scored a 13.050. Brown garnered a 13.150 followed by Mandozzi with 12.700. Davis scored 11.400.

Davis led the Hawkeyes on high bar with 13.600. Huang earned his season best score of 13.500. Sophomore Drew Helberg earned his season best score of 13.150. Sophomore Alex Walther scored a 12.650. Mandozzi earned a score of 12.300.

Davis, Huang, and Tope competed in the all-around for the Hawkeyes. Huang won the all-around with a score of 81.050. Davis finished the all-around with 77.650. Tope finished the all-around 76.650, his new season best.

The Hawkeyes travel to Norman, Okla. to compete against top-ranked Oklahoma on Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. (CT).


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