No. 18 Sun Devil Wrestling Falls to Visiting No. 10 Oklahoma, 20-17

Jan. 12, 2005


TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 18 Arizona State University team was involved in its second close dual contest in a three day span, but, unlike Monday night, the Sun Devils were unable to come out on top as visiting No. 10 Oklahoma recorded a 20-17 victory Wednesday night inside Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils (4-4-1) and Sooners (6-1-0) each won five of the 10 bouts, but more bonus team points were earned by OU to secure the team win.

A Top 10 battle opened the dual with No. 9 Jeremy Mendoza (Jr., Temecula, Calif.) meeting undefeated and No. 1 Sam Hazewinkel. The top-ranked 125-pound wrestler in the nation showed why he sits atop the polls as he recorded a 13-1 major decision to give OU an early 4-0 lead. ASU jumped into the team scoring at 133 with John Espinoza (So., Phoenix) taking a 9-7, sudden victory decision. Trailing 3-1 at the start of the third period, Espinoza used a takedown, two escapes and two penalty points to tie the bout at seven. In the overtime period, Espinoza took down his opponent, Joe Comparin, to secure the victory, 9-7.

OU countered the Sun Devil momentum with a pair of victories at 141 and 149 to bring the team score to 14-3. At 141, Chris Frieje (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.) met No. 2 Teyon Ware and hung tough with the former NCAA champion before the Sooner recorded a 10-2 major decision. OU picked up six team points on an ASU forfeit at 149.

Looking to cut into the visitor's lead, No. 13 Brian Stith (So., Hampton, Va.) recorded a 9-1 major decision at 157 to bring the team score to 14-7. Patrick Pitsch (Fr., Spanaway, Wash.) continued the ASU winning with a hard-fought 8-7 decision at 165, bringing the Sun Devils to within four points of the Sooners, 14-10.

But OU took the next two bouts to build a larger lead. Rick Renzi (Fr., Flagstaff, Ariz.) suffered a 13-7 defeat at 165 before No. 8 C.B. Dollaway (Jr., Mt. Gilead, Ohio) lost a 9-7 overtime battle with No. 14 Justin Dyer at 184. With the team score at 20-10, ASU needed bonus-point victories from its two highest-ranked wrestlers. No. 6 Ryan Bader (Jr., Reno, Nev.) tried to keep the Sun Devils in the dual, but was unable to as his 9-3 victory put the team score at 20-13 and putting the team victory for ASU out of reach. In the final bout of the night, No. 3 Cain Velasquez (Jr., Yuma, Ariz.) recorded an 8-0 major decision over No. 12 Jake Hager to bring the dual to its final margin, 20-17. The Sun Devils hit the mats again Sunday at 7 p.m. when they play host to Pac-10 Conference foe Cal State Fullerton inside Wells Fargo Arena. Admission for the dual is free.

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