No. 17 Wrestling Comes From Behind to Defeat No. 22 Fresno State 24-14

Jan. 28, 2001

FRESNO, Calif. - Trailing 11-0 after three matches, the 17th-ranked Arizona State wrestling squad came back to win six of the last seven, including a crucial pin by senior All-American Steve Blackford, en route to defeating No. 22 Fresno State 24-14 Sunday evening.

Coupled with a 21-14 victory over No. 12 Oregon State Friday night in Corvallis, the Sun Devils improve their overall record to 7-3 and remain 2-0 in conference action. The Bulldogs, who defeated Portland State 32-15 prior to the match with ASU, drop to 7-6 overall.

Fresno State came storming out of the blocks, opening the night with three straight wins pitting two of the top nationally ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes against the Sun Devils. After ASU redshirt-freshman Andy Swanson fell to FSU's Tom Gohde 4-1 at 197 pounds, No. 2 Billy Blunt defeated No. 12 sophomore Kellan Fluckiger 5-3 at heavyweight, and No. 1 Stephen Abas notched a technical fall in 5:09 over redshirt-freshman Chris Knox at 125 pounds.

But ASU took matters into its own hands, winning the next three matches and six of the next seven to come back for the team victory. Twelfth-ranked junior David Douglas got the Sun Devils on the board with a 3-2 decision over Derrick Hayes at 133 pounds, followed by a 12-3 major decision win by No. 3 sophomore Eric Larkin over No. 15 Ralph Lopez at 141.

A 12-8 decision by junior Dana Holland over FSU's Jim Medeiros evened the score at 11, only to have the Bulldogs come back to take the lead when No. 15 Nathan Vasquez blanked No. 13 sophomore Rocky Smart 4-0 at 157 pounds.

A pin by No. 4 senior Steve Blackford over Derrick Duran in 4:28 at 165 pounds put the Sun Devils back in the driver's seat. A 15-2 major decision by junior Curtis Owen over Eddie Gifford at 174 pounds and a 5-3 overtime decision by No. 22 senior R.D. Pursell over Jason Rossotti put the icing on the cake for ASU.

The Sun Devils will make a return trip to the Willamette Valley this weekend, this time to face No. 14 Oregon in Eugene, Ore. Friday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. MST, before returning to Tempe to host Cal State Bakersfield, Sunday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m.

No. 17 Arizona State 24, No. 22 Fresno State 14
Sunday, January 28, 2001, Fresno, Calif.

197: Tom Gohde (FSU) dec. Andy Swanson (ASU), 4-1
HWT: #2 Billy Blunt (FSU) dec. #12 Kellan Fluckiger (ASU), 5-3
125: #1 Stephen Abas (FSU) tech. fall Chris Knox (ASU), 5:09, 22-5
133: #14 David Douglas (ASU) dec. #18 Derrick Hayes (FSU), 3-2
141: #3 Eric Larkin (ASU) major dec. Ralph Lopez (FSU), 12-3
149: Dana Holland (ASU) dec. Jim Medeiros (FSU), 12-8
157: #15 Nathan Vasquez (FSU) dec. #13 Rocky Smart (ASU), 4-0
165: #4 Steve Blackford (ASU) pinned Derrick Durran (FSU), 4:28
174: Curtis Owen (ASU) major dec. Eddie Gifford (FSU), 15-2
184: #11 R.D. Pursell (ASU) dec. Jason Rossotti (FSU), 5-3 (ot)

Rankings according to Amateur Wrestling News

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