FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The 18th-ranked Wyoming wrestling team finished up action at the South Beach Duals on Sunday afternoon, defeating both Michigan State and SIU-Edwardsville. The Cowboys opened the day with a 20-13 win over the Spartans, before a convincing win over the Cougars in which the Pokes racked up seven bonus point wins.
Wyoming (6-3) finished the weekend 3-1, winning two duals on Sunday after knocking off No. 4 NC State in a historic upset in the weekend opener on Saturday morning.
"It either does a lot or you let it slip through your fingers," head coach Mark Branch said. "Hopefully this gives our team a sense of confidence because that's something that we struggle with, is do we belong with some of those top-tier teams? When you win them it validates what you're doing. It can do a lot for us if we allow it to, and hopefully we do. Hopefully we don't let this go by without realizing we can compete with the best."
The Cowboys will be back in action on Friday, as they host No. 12 North Carolina, Army and American for the Cowboy Shootout, set to begin at 4:30 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.
Cowboys Hold off Michigan State
After the Spartans struck first with a win over Cowboy junior Cole Verner by No. 9 Rayvon Foley, Montorie Bridges gave Wyoming the lead at 133 as he unleashed a flurry of scores in the second and third periods to take the 12-4 major decision over Anthony Tutolo. After a scoreless first period, Bridges scored four takedowns and a two-point nearfall over the final two periods to clinch the major.
Sam Turner added to the Cowboy advantage at 141, getting the 1-0 decision over Spartan Austin Eicher in a rematch of the Reno Tournament of Champions finals. Turner was able to escape from bottom in the third period to clinch the win.
At 149 pounds, Jaron Jensen picked up his first win of the weekend with a 3-2 decision over Jaden Enriquez. After the two grapplers traded escapes from the down position in the second and third periods, Jensen scored on a takedown out of a scramble with under 30 seconds to go in the bout to essentially secure the win.
After the Spartans got back on the board thanks to a late takedown from Spartan Jake Tucker on Cowboy Dewey Krueger, senior Branson Ashworth turned in a major decision over Austin Hiles to lock up his third win of the weekend and put the Pokes up, 14-6.
The Spartans pulled within one with wins at 174 and 184, but Cale Davidson was able to keep them at bay with a 1-0 win at 197 pounds to stretch Wyoming's lead back to 17-13.
Once again, it was up to Cowboy heavyweight Brian Andrews to wrap up the win for the Pokes, needing to hold off Michigan State's Chase Beard to help Wyoming bring home the victory. Thanks in part to a full-period ride out, Andrews was able to edge out Beard, 2-0, to lock up the 20-13 team win.
No. 18 Wyoming 20, Michigan State 13
125: No. 9 Rayvon Foley (MSU) dec. Cole Verner (WYO) 7-4
133: No. 12 Montorie Bridges (WYO) MD Anthony Tutolo (MSU) 12-4
141: No. 15 Sam Turner (WYO) dec. Austin Eicher (MSU) 1-0
149: Jaron Jensen (WYO) dec. Jaden Enriquez (MSU) 3-2
157: Jake Tucker (MSU) dec. Dewey Krueger (WYO) 5-4
165: No. 7 Branson Ashworth (WYO) MD Austin Hiles (MSU) 13-5
174: Drew Hughes (MSU) MD Casey Randles (WYO) 15-4
184: No. 14 Cameron Caffey (MSU) dec. Carless Looney (WYO) 10-4
197: Cale Davidson (WYO) dec. Brad Wilton (MSU) 1-0
HWT: No. 19 Brian Andrews (WYO) vs. Chase Beard (MSU)
Wyoming Handles SIU-Edwardsville
Verner opened the final dual of the weekend with a 13-2 major decision over Austin Macias in the 125-pound match to give Wyoming a 4-0 lead to start. Macias scored a takedown to open the bout, but from that point it was all Verner, as the Cowboy junior ran off 13-straight points to finish off the major.
The Cowboys added more bonus points at 133 and 141. Montorie Bridges recorded the first technical fall of his season in a 19-3 technical fall over Jacob Blaha. At 141 pounds, Sam Turner made quick work of Lucas Bernal, pinning the Cougar in 1:40 to stretch the Wyoming advantage to 15-0.
The Cougars got on the board with wins at 149 and 157, but Ashworth picked up a big fall in the closing seconds of the first period in his match over Nate Higgins. It marked the first fall of the season for Ashworth.
The third pin of the day for the Cowboys came from Hayden Hastings at 174 pounds, as the redshirt freshman dropped Kevin Gschwendtner in 3:33 for the fall. Hastings opened up a 6-0 lead in the bout before eventually turning the Cougar for the second-period pin. It was the first fall of the season for Hastings.
Looney made it three-straight pin for Wyoming, with a second-period fall over Sergio Villalobos to boost the Wyoming advantage to 33-6. Cale Davidson followed it up with yet another fall, dropping Christian Dulaney in the first period.
Andrews wrapped up the day with a 6-1 decision over Colton McKiernan to finish the weekend at 3-1.
No. 18 Wyoming 42, SIUE 6
125: Cole Verner (WYO) MD Austin Macias (SIUE) 13-2
133: No. 12 Montorie Bridges (WYO) TF Jacob Blaha (SIUE) 19-3
141: No. 15 Sam Turner (WYO) fall Lucas Bernal (SIUE) 1:40
149: Tyshawn Williams (SIUE) dec. Jed Loveless (WYO) 13-6
157: Justin Ruffin (SIUE) dec. Dewey Krueger (WYO) 9-4
165: No. 7 Branson Ashworth (WYO) fall Nate Higgins (SIUE) 2:55
174: Hayden Hastings (WYO) fall Kevin Gschwendtner (SIUE) 3:33
184: Carless Looney (WYO) fall Sergio Villalobos (SIUE) 4:35
197: Cale Davidson (WYO) fall Christian Dulaney (SIUE) 2:17
HWT: No. 19 Brian Andrews (WYO) dec. Colton McKiernan (SIUE) 6-1