No. 2 Oklahoma State Spoils Regular Season Finale For No. 11 ASU
Feb. 16, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Second-ranked Oklahoma State proved to be too much for 11th-ranked Arizona State wrestling, as the Cowboys spoiled the Sun Devils' regular season finale with a dominating 31-7 victory in front of a crowd of over 2,000 at Wells Fargo Arena Friday night.
ASU finishes the regular season with a 10-5 overall record, 4-0 in the Pac-10, while OSU improves to 16-1overall. The Sun Devils will now turn their attention to the Pac-10 Championships next week in Eugene, Ore., Sunday Feb. 25 through Monday, Feb. 26.
Only ASU's All-Americans were able to muster wins vs. Oklahoma State, as sophomore Eric Larkin, ranked third at 141 pounds, turned in a 3-2 decision over eighth-ranked Charles Walker and senior Steve Blackford, ranked fourth at 165, ended the night with a 10-0 major decision over OSU's Chris Pendleton.
The meeting between Oklahoma State and Arizona State was quite a family affair as ASU head coach Lee Roy Smith faced off with his younger brother, John Smith, the head coach at OSU. John and Lee Roy have Smith brothers on their respective benches, Pat Smith is an assistant for OSU and Mark Smith is an assistant at ASU. For good measure, Lee Roy's daughters LeAnne (12) and Shannon (10) sang the national anthem prior to the match.
Oklahoma State came out of the blocks on fire, winning the first six matches over ASU. OSU's Tyrone Lewis, ranked sixth at 174 pounds, opened the night by pinning redshirt-freshman Ron Renzi in 3:52. Then it was a pair of third-ranked wrestlers that added to the bonus point parade, as Daniel Cormier earned a 12-4 major decision over ASU senior R.D. Pursell at 184 pounds and Mark Munoz turned in a 20-5 technical fall over senior Mike Marshall.
OSU's James Huml, ranked No. 14 at heavyweight, upset sophomore Kellan Fluckiger 6-2, followed by ninth-ranked Matt Brown's 14-4 major decision over ASU redshirt-freshman Chris Knox. Junior David Douglas, ranked No. 11 at 133 pounds, battled close with No. 2 Johnny Thompson but fell 4-2.
It wasn't until Larkin's 3-2 win over Charles Walker that ASU put points on the scoreboard. But the Sun Devils held tough in the next two matches as junior Dana Holland took No. 1 Reggie Wright down to the wire at 149 pounds, but fell by a narrow margin of 4-2. The Sun Devils lost another heart-breaker when No. 16 Shane Roller upset No. 11 Rocky Smart at 157 pounds by another close score, 5-4.
Blackford, wrestling the final match of this collegiate career at Wells Fargo Arena, gave the Sun Devil fans an exciting end to the night, shutting out Chris Pendleton 10-0.
Post-season action is next up for Arizona State, as the Sun Devils travel to the Pac-10 Championships in Eugene, Ore. next weekend, Feb. 25-26.
#2 Oklahoma State 31, #11 Arizona State 7
Friday, Feb. 16, 2001, Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.
174: #6 Tyrone Lewis (OSU) pinned Ron Renzi (ASU), 3:52
184: #3 Daniel Cormier (OSU) major dec. #12 R.D. Pursell (ASU),12-4
197: #3 Mark Munoz (OSU) tech. fall Mike Marshall (ASU), 20-5, 5:27
HWT: #14 James Huml (OSU) dec. #12 Kellan Fluckiger (ASU), 6-2
125: #9 Matt Brown (OSU) major dec. Chris Knox (ASU), 14-4
133: #2 Johnny Thompson (OSU) dec. #11 David Douglas (ASU), 4-2
141: #3 Eric Larkin (ASU) dec. #8 Charles Walker (OSU), 3-2
149: #1 Reggie Wright (OSU) dec. Dana Holland (ASU), 4-2
157: #16 Shane Roller (OSU) dec. #11 Rocky Smart (ASU), 5-4
165: #4 Steve Blackford (ASU) major dec. Chris Pendleton (OSU), 10-0
Rankings according to Amateur Wrestling News