No. 14 Wrestling Falls Just Short of Upsetting No. 4 Iowa State
Feb. 11, 2001
AMES, Iowa -- Junior Curtis Owen and sophomore Rocky Smart turned in individual upsets on the mat, but it wasn't enough to spark a total team upset as fourth-ranked Iowa State just edged the 14th-ranked Arizona State wrestling squad 19-16 in front of a crowd of 1,447 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa Sunday night.
The Sun Devils put up a valiant effort, winning five of 10 matches against a team which had nine of its 10 starters ranked nationally. The loss halts ASU's five-match win streak, dropping its overall record to 10-4, while Iowa State improves to 17-4.
Owen, ranked 20th in the nation at 174 pounds, and Smart, ranked 13th at 157, sparked the Sun Devils with their upsets of No. 9 Perry Parks and No. 7 Cole Sanderson, respectively. Owen won his seventh straight match with a 5-1 decision over Parks, while Smart took care of Sanderson 5-3 in overtime.
The only Sun Devil to win a match by bonus points was redshirt-freshman Chris Knox with a 10-1 major decision over Jacob Moore at 125 pounds. The win was Knox's second win of the season against Moore, as the two met at the Midlands Championships in December, with Knox earning a pin in 1:25.
ASU started the night in a hole, as senior All-American Steve Blackford, ranked fourth at 165 pounds, lost a tough 10-8 decision to second-ranked Joe Heskett in the first match of the night. The Sun Devils quickly evened team scoring Owen's upset of Parks.
But the Cyclones won the next two matches by bonus points, as top-ranked Cael Sanderson pinned 12th-ranked R.D. Pursell in 3:49, his 110th career win without a loss. ASU also had its hands full at 197 pounds, as No. 2 Zach Thompson earned an 18-6 major decision over senior Mike Marshall.
ASU then won the next two matches to cut Iowa State's lead to three, as sophomore heavyweight Kellan Fluckiger, ranked No. 11, earned a 12-6 decision over No. 18 Mark Knauer and Knox defeated Moore.
ASU took the Cyclones down to the wire, as both teams won two of the final four matches. After No. 10 Matt Azevedo earned a 3-1 decision over No. 11 David Douglas at 133 pounds, sophomore All-American and third-ranked Eric Larkin put the Sun Devils within three again with a 9-4 decision over No. 9 Zach Roberson at 141 pounds.
ISU won another close victory to increase its lead to six points as 13th-ranked Billy Maldonado earned a narrow 3-2 decision over junior Dana Holland at 149 pounds. Smart's upset of Sanderson closed the final scoring gap to three points, but at that point ASU needed nothing less than a pin to tie.
The regular season is winding down for the Sun Devils, but the opponents are not getting any easier. ASU returns home to the Valley of the Sun to host No. 2 Oklahoma State, Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena, its last regular season dual before the Pac-10 Championships, Feb. 25-26.
#4 Iowa State vs. #14 Arizona State
Sunday, February 11, 2001
Ames, Iowa, Hilton Coliseum
#4 Iowa State 19, #14 Arizona State 16
165: #2 Joe Heskett (ISU) dec. #4 Steve Blackford (ASU), 10-8
174: #20 Curtis Owen (ASU) dec. #9 Perry Parks (ISU), 5-1
184: #1 Cael Sanderson (ISU) pinned #12 R.D. Pursell (ASU), 3:49
197: #2 Zach Thompson (ISU) major dec. Mike Marshall (ASU), 18-6
HWT: #11 Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) dec. #18 Mark Knauer (ISU), 12-6
125: Chris Knox (ASU) major dec. Jacob Moore (ISU), 10-1
133: #10 Matt Azevedo (ISU) dec. #11 David Douglas (ASU), 3-1
141: #3 Eric Larkin (ASU) dec. #9 Zach Roberson (ISU), 9-4
149: #13 Billy Maldonado (ISU) dec. Dana Holland (ASU), 3-2
157: #13 Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. #7 Cole Sanderson (ISU), 5-3 ot
Rankings according to Amateur Wrestling News