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Oklahoma State wrestling: Late surge lifts No. 9 Cowboys to 18-15 win against No. 12 Princeton

The Cowboys win three matches down the stretch to improve to 3-1.

Oklahoma State heavyweight Austin Harris looks to turn Princeton’s Aidan Conner during the second period Friday, Dec. 6 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

The No. 9-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team won three of the last four bouts for a 18-15 win over No. 12 Princeton on Friday in front of 2,704 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

It’s the second straight win against a top-15 ranked opponent for the Cowboys (3-1), who are still without starters Kaden Gfeller and Joe Smith at 141 and 174 pounds, respectively. Gfeller weighed in again, but didn’t wrestle while Smith remained out due to weight dissension regulations.

After Princeton (1-1, 1-0 EIWA) had a medical forfeit to Travis Wittlake at 165 pounds, OSU dropped three straight matches. Andrew Shomers led 2-1 in the third period, but was reversed by Kevin Parker then ridden out the rest of the period for a 5-2 loss. Anthony Motalvo failed to finish two takedown attempts at the end of the first two periods, and Travis Stefanik escaped early in the third period to force sudden victory then scored a takedown nine seconds later for a 5-3 win against Motalvo. Sixth-ranked Dakota Geer was taken down five times, but scored a reversal in the final 15 seconds to avoid a major decision in a 11-6 loss to No. 2 Patrick Brucki at 197.

Trailing 9-6 in the dual, heavyweight Austin Harris halted the Tigers’ momentum with a 5-2 win against Aidan Conner. Harris worked for a reversal from bottom in the second period and slipped around in a scramble then put Conner to his back for a two-point nearfall near the boundary line. Harris then rode out Conner in the third to tie the dual 9-9.

Fourth-ranked Nick Piccininni won three matches against No. 5 Pat Glory of Princeton last season, but the Tiger came out on top Friday with a 9-4 win with riding time. Tied 2-2 in the second period, Glory locked up a cradle and drove Piccininni halfway across the mat and turned him for four-point nearfall. Piccininni slipped out the back for a reversal with less than 15 seconds in the second to trim the deficit to 6-4. Glory chose a neutral start and secured a double-leg takedown out of a scramble with 45 seconds remaining in the match then tacked on riding time to end Piccininni’s quest at back-to-back undefeated regular seasons.

Reece Witcraft was on his game early with two first-period takedowns, and escaped to start the second but didn’t push the pace late to settle for a 8-3 decision with riding time against Sean Pierson to tie the dual at 12-all.

Dusty Hone filled in for Gfeller at 141, and walked away with a 7-4 decision with riding time against Marshall Keller. Keller attempted to duplicate Glory’s cradle attempt and was awarded a takedown at the boundary line, which was confirmed after a failed OSU challenge. Hone escaped right away to cut the deficit to 4-2, but Keller had another takedown near the scorer’s table as Hone’s hands fell off the mat and onto the basketball court. A challenge from Princeton reversed the call to tie the match only for Hone get a reversal for the win.

With the dual on the line, No. 9 Boo Lewallen scored two first-period takedowns then a two-point nearfall off a scramble in the third for a 7-4 decision with riding time against No. 11 Mike D’Angelo to give OSU an 18-12 lead. But the dual was put away just yet,

In the main event, two sons of OSU legends faced off with No. 24 Wyatt Sheets (son of Mike Sheets) and No. 9 Quincy Monday (son of Kenny Monday). The younger Monday showed off his quickness with a misdirection single-leg takedown in the first and an escape with 45 seconds left in the match to seal a 3-2 win in a snoozefest.

What’s next

The Cowboys visit Oklahoma (1-1) for the first of two Bedlam duals this season at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 in Norman.

No. 9 Oklahoma State 18, No. 12 Princeton 15

165: No. 13 Travis Wittlake (OSU) win by forfeit

174: Kevin Parker (PRIN) def. Andrew Shomers (OSU), 5-2 dec

184: Travis Stefanik (PRIN) def. Anthony Montalvo (OSU), 5-3 SV1

197: No. 2 Patrick Brucki (PRIN) def. No. 6 Dakota Geer (OSU), 12-6 dec

285: Austin Harris (OSU) def. Aiden Conner (PRIN), 5-2 dec

125: No. 5 Pat Glory (PRIN) def. No. 4 Nick Piccininni (OSU), 9-4 dec

133: Reece Witcraft (OSU) def. Sean Pierson (PRIN), 8-3 dec

141: Dusty Hone (OSU) def. Marshall Keller (PRIN), 7-4 dec

149: No. 9 Boo Lewallen (OSU) def. No. 11 Mike D’Angelo (PRIN), 7-4 dec

157: No. 9 Quincy Monday (PRIN) def. No. 24 Wyatt Sheets (OSU), 3-2 dec