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Oklahoma State wrestling: No. 4 Cowboys fall 21-20 to No. 10 Lehigh on criteria

The Cowboys’ 21-dual win streak ends in crushing fashion.

2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships

Nick Piccininni scored seven points in the third period, but couldn’t secure a technical fall or fall against Brandon Paetzell of Lehigh at 125 pounds for No. 4 Oklahoma State as the Cowboys fell 21-20 to No. 10 Lehigh on the third criteria Saturday at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

OSU head coach John Smith forfeited at 133 pounds to close out the dual because Reece Witcraft didn’t pass the skin check, which means the freshman had an open skin lesion that was a medical concern. Witcraft, however, did wrestle Friday in OSU’s 30-6 win over Drexel, so whatever it was could’ve worsened overnight or the official Saturday viewed it more seriously.

With the dual tied at 20-all, officials went to the second criteria of bonus-point wins (fall, technical fall, major decision) and each team had three apiece with one fall and two major decisions. Officials then turned to the third criteria of total match points, which gave the dual to the Mountain Hawks (1-0) over the Cowboys (1-1) as Lehigh outscored OSU 58-48 in the dual.

OSU’s loss snaps its 21-dual win streak dating back to Jan. 27, 2018, against Missouri when the Cowboys fell 21-19 to the Tigers.

Smith sat No. 10 Kaden Gfeller at 141 and No. 6 Joe Smith at 174 despite both wrestlers making weight for the first time with a pound allowance due to OSU having a back-to-back.

The Cowboys appeared doomed from the start when 141 was drawn to start the dual. Gfeller only had an hour to get prepare and get hydrated for the dual, and Smith opted to sit him for Dusty Hone, who dropped a 3-2 decision to Ryan Pomrinca. Hone had several shot attempts, and received a point for Pomrinca stalling but couldn’t secure a takedown.

Eighth-ranked Boo Lewallen leveled the dual at 3-3 with a dominant 4-0 decision over No. 25 Jimmy Hoffman. Lewallen escaped early in second then scored a takedown and rode out the third for a riding time point.

Wyatt Sheets needed sudden victory to defeat No. 12 Josh Humphreys in last year’s dual, but Humphreys made sure there was no need for extra time this year. After a takedown was overturned by official review in the first, Humphreys poured it on with a takedown and two four-point near falls en route to a 16-2 major decision.

Travis Wittlake, ranked No. 25 at 165, escaped to start the second then scored a takedown off a single leg trip with 20 seconds remaining in the frame for a 3-1 decision over Brian Meyer to pull OSU within 7-6. OSU’s Andrew Shomers, who was up a weight at 174, was no match for No. 2 Jordan Kutler as the Lehigh grappler scored eight takedowns for a 20-6 major decision to give the Mountain Hawks a 12-6 advantage.

But then OSU turned to Anthony Montalvo and Dakota Geer, who both tallied bonus-point wins with a fall and major decision, respectively, for the Cowboys to take their first lead of the dual at 16-11. Both wrestlers broke their opponent’s will to compete in the third. Montalvo, a redshirt freshman, scored three takedowns after trailing 9-8 and got a fall at 6:26 against No. 25 Chris Weiler. Geer, who was also up a weight to 197, blitzed No. 14 Jake Jokobsen with five takedowns for a 15-5 major decision.

Despite facing a heavyweight national title contender in No. 4 Jordan Wood, OSU’s Austin Harris held his own in a 8-4 loss as Lehigh pulled within 16-14. Piccininni entered his bout needing a tech fall or pin to secure the win for OSU due to the predetermined forfeit at 133. He held a 4-1 to start the third and turned up the pace, but couldn’t turn Paetzell to his back for the big win.

What’s next?

OSU hosts its home opener against No. 6 Minnesota at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. The Gophers (1-1) were upset 21-17 by Rider on Friday and compete in the Daktronics Open on Sunday in Brookings, South Dakota.

No. 10 Lehigh 21, No. 4 Oklahoma State 20

141: Ryan Pomrinca (LU) dec. Dusty Hone (OSU), 3-2

149: No. 8 Boo Lewallen (OSU) dec. No. 25 Jimmy Hoffman (LU), 4-0

157: No. 12 Josh Humphreys (LU) major dec. Wyatt Sheets (OSU), 16-2

165: No. 25 Travis Wittlake (OSU) dec. Brian Meyer (LU), 3-1

174: No. 2 Jordan Kutler (LU) major dec. Andrew Shomers (OSU), 20-6

184: Anthony Montalvo (OSU) fall No. 25 Chris Weiler (LU), 6:26

197: Dakota Geer (OSU) major dec. No. 14 Jake Jokobsen (LU), 15-5

285: No. 4 Jordan Wood (LU) dec. Austin Harris (OSU), 8-4

125: No. 4 Nick Piccininni (OSU) major dec. No. 19 Brandon Paetzell (LU), 11-3

133: No. 14 Nick Farro (LU) forfeit victory

*Lehigh wins on third criteria — total match points (58-48)

Rankings: Individual (FloWrestling), Team (NWCA)