HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Derek Rothermel's decision at 165 pounds helped Coker stake claim to a comfortable 18-4 lead, but the UNC Pembroke wrestling team won each of the last four matches, including a decisive pin by Stuart Nadeau in the heavyweight bout, to stun the Cobras, 19-18, on Thursday evening at the Harris E. & Louise H. DeLoach Center.
The result stopped a four-match skid for the Braves (11-7, 3-0 ECAC) who stayed perfect in Eastern College Athletic Conference action as well. The setback snapped a nine-match win streak for the Cobras (13-3, 4-2) who wrapped up both the conference and home portion of their schedule on Thursday.
Coker opened up the night with three-straight wins, including two via bonus points, to grab an early 12-0 lead on the team scoreboard. Eric Milks stopped the bleeding with a 13-5 major decision over Walker Barfield at 149 pounds, but the Cobras responded with consecutive decisions by Rashad Cunningham (157 pounds) and Rothermel to blow the match wide open.
Sheldon Morris toughed out a 5-2 win at 174 pounds to put the Braves back in business, and all-American Blaze Shade and Mikey Thomas each registered wins despite wrestling up a class to cut the UNCP deficit back to 18-13. Nadeau took care of the rest, securing a takedown two minutes into his heavyweight contest with Austin Akins, before pinning the Coker senior 42 seconds later.
The Braves will be back in action again on Saturday when they head to Anderson, S.C., for a pair of dual matchups. UNCP will battle Anderson (1-16) in the final installment of the "Battle For The Belt" at 1 p.m., before locking arms with Emmanuel (9-3) in a league neutral site contest at 3 p.m.
125: Charlie Huff (CC) maj. dec. Josh Brown (UNCP) M 10-2
133: Derrick Nelson (CC) tech. fall Dustin Smith (UNCP) TF 22-7; 7:00
141: Curtis Harris (CC) dec. Ryan Blackwell (UNCP) D 6-4
149: Eric Milks (UNCP) maj. dec. Walker Barfield (CC) M 13-5
157: Rashad Cunningham (CC) dec. Hayden Fry (UNCP) D 7-5
165: Derek Rothermel (CC) dec. Joey DiMartino (UNCP) D 10-6
174: Sheldon Morris (UNCP) dec. Derrick Booth (CC) D 5-2
184: Blaze Shade (UNCP) dec. Luis Peguero (CC) D 3-0
197: Mikey Thomas (UNCP) dec. John Allen Griswold (CC) D 6-2
285: Stuart Nadeau (UNCP) pinned Austin Akins (CC) F 2:42