No. 1 Cowboy Wrestlers Defeat Sooners

STILLWATER - Oklahoma State's wrestling team won six matches en route to an 18-13 Bedlam victory over Oklahoma in front of 8,697 fans at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Sunday afternoon. Steve Mocco clinched a tight dual with a decision over Joel Tapler in the final match of the night. All six victories by OSU were by decision.

"I think we knew what to expect, and we trained pretty hard this week," head coach John Smith said. "We were out two starters, and our guys know we do not have room for an upset. They know that they have to win. A couple of guys wrestled tight, but we were never really threatened in any of the matches we were supposed to win."

Oklahoma State wrapped up a perfect season by going 21-0, 5-0 in the Big 12. Oklahoma dropped to 15-6 on the season, 1-4 in the Big 12.

The dual started at 125, and OU scored the first victory with top-ranked Sam Hazewinkel. The two teams traded decisions, until the Cowboys started to assert themselves with Zack Esposito at 149. "Zack wrestled a good match," coach Smith said.

Top-ranked Esposito scored the first takedown on fourth-ranked Matt Storniolo. The two wrestlers traded reversals in the second period, and Esposito added two more takedowns in the third to come away with a convincing, 11-6, decision to tie the dual at six.

OSU won the next three matches to go up 15-6 in the dual. Kevin Ward recorded a 6-2 decision over Charles Jones, and Johny Hendricks blanked Wes Roberts 4-0.

Chris Pendleton capped the run by avenging his only loss on the year with an 8-3 decision over E.K. Waldhaus. It was Pendleton's final match inside Gallagher-Iba Arena and the fans gave him a standing ovation as time expired.

"I have done a very good job all week of not letting it sink in that this would be my last time to wrestle in front of the Gallagher crowd," senior Chris Pendleton said. "There was one second left on the clock and I could see everybody stand up and start cheering, that is when it sunk in. That meant a lot to me, it really did."

"It was a good match by Chris," Smith said. "That guy embarrassed him him last time they wrestled. There is no question that it is a solid victory. He came back with a solid effort."

The Sooners tightened the dual by winning the next two matches. Justin Dyer recorded a major decision over Jack Jensen, and Joel Flaggert defeated Rusty Blackmon to make it 15-13.

The Cowboys were in good position, however, with Mocco waiting at heavyweight. Mocco closed the door on an OU rally with a 10-3 decision over Tapler.

The Cowboys will have some time off to prepare for the Big 12 Championships on March 5 in Omaha, Neb.

No. 1 Oklahoma State 18, No. 7 Oklahoma 13
125- #1 Sam Hazewinkel (OU) dec. #17 Coleman Scott (OSU), 6-2
133- #10 Nathan Morgan (OSU) dec. Joe Comparin (OU), 8-4
141- #2 Teyon Ware (OU) dec. Ronnie Delk (OSU), 7-3
149- #1 Zack Esposito (OSU) dec. #4 Matt Storniolo (OU), 11-6
157- Kevin Ward (OSU) dec. Charles Jones (OU), 6-2
165- #4 Johny Hendricks (OSU) dec. Wes Roberts (OU), 4-0
174- #1 Chris Pendleton (OSU) dec. #8 E.K. Waldhaus (OU), 8-3
184- #16 Justin Dyer (OU) maj. dec. Jack Jensen (OSU), 9-1
197- #18 Joel Flaggert (OU) dec. Rusty Blackmon (OSU), 3-1
285- #1 Steve Mocco (OSU) dec. Joel Tapler (OU), 10-3

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