Velasquez Upset Win at Heavyweight Not Enough as Wrestling Falls, 22-16
Dec. 7, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. - Despite an upset victory at heavyweight to cap the evening, the Arizona State wrestling team could not capture a team upset victory as No. 7 Minnesota escaped a close dual with the No. 18 Sun Devils, 22-16, inside Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday night. ASU won four of the 10 contested bouts, but it was not enough to prevent the Sun Devils from opening the year 0-3 for the first time since the 1971-72 team went 0-8 to begin its campaign. The Golden Gophers secured their first win of the season, evening its record to 1-1 having previously lost to No. 1 Oklahoma State Sunday.
The final bout of the night brought about the most fan reaction of the dual as No. 7 Cain Velasquez (Jr., Yuma, Ariz.) battled with No. 2 Cole Konrad, who entered the dual with a 12-1 record and his lone loss coming to the undefeated and No. 1 competitor in the weight class, Oklahoma State's Steve Mocco. Both men fought for position in the early going before Konrad scored a takedown one minute into the match before Velasquez escaped. In the second period, the Sun Devil big man escaped to send the bout to the final stanza knotted at two. After a Konrad escape, the Golden Gopher was hit with his second stalling call to tie the bout at three with one minute remaining. With Velasquez being the aggressor and eight seconds remaining, Konrad was again hit with a stall call to give another point to Velasquez and a 4-3 decision.
The dual opened with another battle of Top 10 opponents as ASU's No. 10 Jeremy Mendoza (Jr., Temecula, Calif.) dropped a close 5-3 decision to undefeated and fourth-ranked Bobbe Lowe to give UM a 3-0 lead. No. 6 Mack Reiter kept the momentum rolling for the Gophers as he recorded a 15-0 technical fall over Curtis Ray (So., Mesa, Ariz.) at 133 before Quincy Osborn put the visitors ahead 12-0 on the strength of his 10-2 major decision at 141 over Chris Frieje (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.).
Trailing by 12 points and in need of a win, No. 7 Patrick Williams (Sr., Homestead, Fla.) did just that for the home team as he scored an 11-2 major decision at 149 to cut into UM's advantage, 12-4. No. 14 Brian Stith (So., Hampton, Va.) kept things going for the maroon and gold as he pinned Nik Lentz in 5:46 at 157 to bring the team score to 12-10 in favor of the guests.
But UM would widen their lead yet again as it won the next three bouts. At 165, No. 10 Matt Nagel won an 8-2 decision over Patrick Pitsch (Fr., Spanaway, Wash.) at 165 to put the Gophers ahead, 15-10, before Gabe Dretsch recorded a 19-8 major decision over Rick Renzi (Fr., Flagstaff, Ariz.) at 174 for a 19-10 lead. The UM victories came to an end at 184 when No. 3 Roger Kish took a 5-0 decision from No. 8 C.B. Dollaway (Jr., Mt. Gilead, Ohio) for a 22-10 lead.
No. 7 Ryan Bader (Jr., Reno, Nev.) tallied a 4-2 decision victory at 197 to cut the deficit to 22-13 before Velasquez won his heavyweight bout for the final 22-16 margin.
The Sun Devils' lone remaining competition on the 2004 slate is a return trip to Nevada when the team heads to the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 19. Following the winter break, the team returns to the road to face Fresno State in Fresno, Calif., January 4.