Wrestling Drops Close Decision At Oklahoma

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    Sophomore Caleb Rea and junior Nick Kiussis registered a pin each as the West Virginia University wrestling team fell to Oklahoma, 22-18, in Norman, Oklahoma.

    In addition to the pins by Rea and Kiussis, sophomore Noah Adams and senior Brandon Ngati earned decisions in Sunday’s contest.

    “We had a chance to beat a solid team today and fell a little short,” WVU coach Tim Flynn said. “Caleb (Rea) and Noah (Adams) had huge wins today. I’m proud of how our guys fought until the very end.”

    The Sooners (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) jumped out to an early 8-0 lead after earning a decision at 125 and a technical fall at 133 to begin the match.

    At 141, Rea stunned the Sooners when he pulled off the biggest upset for the Mountaineers this season with a pin over No. 4 Dom Demas. Demas, the 2019 Big 12 Champion at 141, was ranked as high as No. 1 (The Open Mat) heading into the match.

    Demas struck first in the opening period before Rea escaped and registered a takedown to grab a 3-2 lead. Rea would then put Demas on his back and earn the pin with just two seconds remaining in the period. The pin marked Rea’s fourth of the season and sixth of his career.

    Following a pair of Oklahoma wins at 149 and 157, Kiussis cut the Sooner lead to three after earning WVU’s second pin of the day at 165.

    OU’s Sam Dover took the lead early with a quick takedown in the first period, before Kiussis responded with an escape. After choosing to start the second period from the bottom, Kiussis took the lead with a reversal and maintained control until the end of the period. In the third, Dover elected to start from the neutral position, where Kiussis secured a takedown and a pin just one minute into the period to cut OU’s lead to 15-12.

    The Sooners responded with a pair of wins as freshman Scott Joll (174) dropped a decision to Anthony Montanona and sophomore Jackson Moomau lost a hard-fought bout to Darrien Roberts at 184.

    Adams put WVU back in the win column with a 6-1 decision over No. 13 Jake Woodley at 197. The Coal City, West Virginia, native, who ranks No. 2 nationally in the 197-pound class in all major polls this week, improved his record to 24-0 on the season and 11-0 in dual meets. The win also marks his eighth over a ranked opponent this season.

    Ngati finished the bout strong for WVU as he topped OU’s Josiah Jones, thanks to an escape in the second overtime period. The Gaithersburg, Maryland, native improved to 14-8 on the season with the win.

    After allowing an escape point to begin the second period, Ngati registered an escape of his own to begin the third to tie the match at 1. After neither grappler could secure a takedown in the first period of Overtime, Ngati grabbed the winning point in the second overtime with an escape to earn a 2-1 win.

    With the loss, West Virginia fell to 3-7 (0-3 Big 12) this season and moved to 2-9 all-time against the Sooners.

    WVU will take two weeks off before hosting South Dakota State on Feb. 7 at the WVU Coliseum. The contest is slated to begin at 7 p.m. and will be the first home conference bout of the season for the Mountaineers.

    The match against the Jackrabbits will be the WVU’s annual Cradles for Cancer for breast cancer awareness. WVU Medicine will sponsor the match and will collect donations for the WVU Cancer Institute. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and can get the WVU sports official “pink” t-shirt with a donation of $10 or more to WVU Medicine. The contest against the Jackrabbits is also Senior Day, as WVU will celebrate the careers of its four seniors. The first 150 fans in attendance will receive a free Nike dri-fit t-shirt. Autographs also will take place following the match.

    Oklahoma 22, West Virginia 18

    125: Christian Moody (OU) Dec. Joey Thomas (WVU), 8-3

    133: No. 17 Anthony Madrigal (OU) TF Lucas Seibert (WVU), 20-4 (4:22)

    141: Caleb Rea (WVU) F No. 4 Dom Demas (OU), 2:58

    149: No. 19 Jacob Butler (OU) MD Liam Lusher (WVU), 10-0

    157: No. 17 Justin Thomas (OU) Dec. Alex Hornfeck (WVU), 7-5

    165: Nick Kiussis (WVU) F Sam Dover (OU), 6:00

    174: Anthony Montanona (OU) MD Scott Joll (WVU), 8-0

    184: Darrien Roberts (OU) Dec. Jackson Moomau (WVU), 7-3

    197: No. 2 Noah Adams (WVU) Dec. No. 13 Jake Woodley (OU), 6-1

    HWT: Brandon Ngati (WVU) Dec. Josiah Jones (OU), 2-1 (TB-1)

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