Wrestling Falls Short of Oklahoma Upset, 20-12

Jan. 12, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. - The ninth-ranked Arizona State wrestling team held even with sixth-ranked Oklahoma through six matches, only to have the Sooners win three of the next four to hand the Sun Devils their first loss of the season, 20-12, in front of 1,142 fans at Wells Fargo Arena Friday night. ASU's dual record falls to 4-1, while Oklahoma improves its season mark to 8-1.

The Sun Devils fell into a hole early when OU's Michael Lightner handed ASU sophomore All-American Eric Larkin his first loss of the season, a 7-3 decision. The much anticipated 141-pound match led off the evening, with Lightner ranked second nationally and Larkin, ranked third nationally, returning to the ASU lineup after being out with a knee injury since Dec. 2.

After ASU junior Dana Holland fell to No. 7 Jared Frayer 11-7 at 149 pounds, the Sun Devils came back to knot the team score at six with consecutive victories by sophomore Rocky Smart and senior All-American Steve Blackford. No. 16 Smart picked up a 8-5 decision over No. 18 Brian Burrows at 157 pounds, while No. 4 Blackford shutout No. 6 Robbie Waller, 6-0 at 165 pounds.

Oklahoma regained a 9-6 team lead when No. 11 Michael Barger edged ASU junior Curtis Owen 8-7 at 174 pounds, only to have the Sun Devils come back to tie again with a 7-5 decision by No. 11 senior R.D. Pursell over Nick Curcio at 184.

With four matches left, Oklahoma took control of the scoreboard winning the next three. No. 12 Waymon May and No. 13 Bo Maynes recorded major decisions over redshirt freshmen Andy Swanson (197) and Chris Knox (125), respectively. In one of the more exciting matches of the night, OU's Leonce Crump, ranked 14th nationally, just edged ninth-ranked ASU heavyweight sophomore Kellan Fluckiger 3-2. ASU junior David Douglas, ranked 17th, salvaged the last match of the night with a 7-1 decision over No. 15 Witt Durden.

Up next, the Sun Devils will travel to the Cliff Keen National Duals at Penn State, Saturday, Jan. 20 through Sunday, Jan. 21.

A high school wrestling match was held in Wells Fargo Arena prior to the collegiate dual, with Red Mountain defeating Westwood 47-18.

#6 Oklahoma 20 (8-1), #9 ASU 12 (4-1, 1-0 Pac-10)Friday, January 12, 2001
Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.

#6 Oklahoma 20, #6 Arizona State 12
141: #2 Michael Lightner (OU) dec. #3 Eric Larkin (ASU), 7-3
149: #7 Jared Frayer (OU) dec. Dana Holland (ASU), 11-7
157: #16 Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. #18 Brian Burrows (OU), 8-5
165: #4 Steve Blackford (ASU) dec. #6 Robbie Waller (OU), 6-0
174: #11 Michael Barger (OU) dec. Curtis Owen (ASU), 8-7
184: #11 R.D. Pursell (ASU) dec. Nick Curcio (OU), 7-5
197: #12 Waymon May (OU) major dec. Andy Swanson (ASU), 12-3
HWT: #14 Leonce Crump (OU) dec. #9 Kellan Fluckiger (ASU), 3-2
125: #13 Bo Maynes (OU) major dec. Chris Knox (ASU), 10-1
133: #17 David Douglas (ASU) dec. #15 Witt Durden (OU), 7-1

Attendance: 1,142

Rankings according to Amateur Wrestling News

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