Wrestling Falls To No. 14 Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. – In its first visit to McCasland Field House in program history, the West Virginia University wrestling team was defeated by No. 14 Oklahoma, 25-14, as it dropped to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12.
“For us to go into two venues like Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, there was nothing but positives that to take away – these are the experiences that we need in order to become a better team now and in the future,” said coach Craig Turnbull. “You are seeing some glimmers of things as we continue to put our guys under pressure against wrestlers from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.”
The Mountaineers, who were recovering from a tough loss at the hands of No. 2 Oklahoma State on Friday night, jumped out to an early lead on the Sooners.
Shane Young (125), who was the victim of a third period ride out loss on Friday, was able to turn the tables, as he scored a 5-4 win over OU’s Kyle Garcia. Young used a first and third period takedown in order to build his 1:34 of riding time.
Following Young’s win, WVU looked as though it would contend at 133 pounds, with Colin Johnston scoring an early takedown on No. 10 Cody Brewer. The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Brewer would earn a 24-10 major decision win.
After Johnston’s loss, the Sooners earned major decisions at 141 and 165 pounds, along with tech falls at 149 and 157 pounds that built a 22-3 lead.
“With a healthy Brutus Scheffel and a Colin Johnston that has more matches under his belt, we are probably in a different position,” Turnbull said.
With their backs against the wall, the Mountaineers responded with back-to-back major decisions at 174 and 184 pounds to stay in the hunt.
Bubba Scheffel (184), who looked dominant on his way to a 12-4 major decision, used the riding time point to secure a major decision. In total, Scheffel had five nearfall points in the match.
Using a 6-2 lead that he built in the first period, Lance Bryson (184) backed up Scheffel’s major decision with a major decision of his own. Bryson held leads of 4-1 and 6-2 after the first and second periods, respectively. In the third period, Bryson scored three takedowns and earned the riding time point.
“Bubba has so much to learn technically, but he has such a high ceiling,” Turnbull said. “Lance was able to do what all great athletes do. Lance was able to eliminate the memory of his match against Oklahoma State and rebound to win with really good energy. Both of those wins helped in the lower half of our lineup.”
Down 22-11, WVU needed bonus point victories at 197 pounds and heavyweight to stay in the match.
A.J. Vizcarrondo (197) earned an 8-6 decision win over OU’s Brad Johnson to close the gap to 22-14, but it was not enough, as the Sooners led 22-14 heading into the final match of the dual meet.
“A.J. is very much a freshman right now, because in high school, he was able to give less than full effort to get a win,” Turnbull said. “For him to be able to come into a match at Oklahoma and walk away with a tough win, it is encouraging. He just found a way to win. It is important to continue to try and build his confidence.”
The Mountaineers will return to the mat on Friday, Jan. 25, as they take on Rutgers at 8 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.
125: Shane Young (WVU) dec. Kyle Garcia (OU), 5-4
133: No. 10 Cody Brewer (OU) maj. dec. Colin Johnston (WVU), 24-10
141: No. 1 Kendric Maple (OU) maj. dec. No. 13 Nathan Pennesi (WVU), 10-2
149: No. 10 Nick Lester (OU) tech fall Tim Wheeling (WVU), 15-0
157: Justin DeAngelis (OU) tech fall Jason Luster (WVU), 17-2
165: No. 4 Patrick Graham (OU) tech fall Dominic Prezzia (WVU), 14-3
174: Bubba Scheffel (WVU) maj. dec. Matt Reed (OU), 12-4
184: Lance Bryson (WVU) maj. dec. Nolan McBryde (OU), 13-4
197: A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU) dec. Brad Johnson (OU), 8-6
HWT: Keldrick Hall (OU) dec. Phil Mandzik (WVU), 2-1
Team Score: 25-14, Oklahoma
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