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Michigan claims final 6 bouts to overcome slow start at ASU

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team claimed each of the final six matches to overcome a sluggish start and surge past No. 16 Arizona State, 23-12, Saturday evening (Jan. 5) at the Sun Devils' Wells Fargo Arena. The Wolverines improved to 5-0 on the season.

Michigan dropped the dual's first four bouts, including marquee matches at 157, 165 and 174 pounds, to trail 12-0 before senior/junior Jackson Striggow got the Wolverines on the board with a decision win at 197 pounds heading to the intermission break. Striggow defeated Austyn Harris, 10-6, with four takedowns -- two in the first period -- and 1:08 riding time.

The Wolverines followed with wins in all five matches after the intermission, earning key bonus points from a third-period fall by freshman heavyweight Mason Parris and a dominant technical fall from senior/junior Stevan Micic at 133 pounds.

Parris used a combination of single legs, a double and counterattacks to score five takedowns and build up an 11-3 lead through two periods against Brady Daniels. Starting on top in the third, he turned Daniels with an arm bar and secured the fall -- his team-best ninth of the season -- to end the match at the 5:56 mark.

Micic, ranked second nationally at 133 pounds, rolled to a 17-2 technical fall against Josiah Kline behind four takedowns and eight back points -- off two separate four-point leg turks. The latter turn ended the match at 4:26. Micic improved to 5-0 on the season.

The two bonus wins sandwiched a pivotal victory from sophomore Drew Mattin, who rallied to defeat Brandon Courtney, 9-7, at 125 pounds and put the Wolverines back in the driver's seat in the dual. Mattin, ranked 11th nationally, gave up the first two takedowns and had one of his own wiped out by an illegal move call in the first period before taking control on top in the second. Mattin rode out the period, earning a two-point near fall on a tilt early, and after giving up another takedown in the third, scored a reversal and rode for nearly the remainder of the bout to earn 1:58 in time advantage.

Mattin's win evened the team score, and seventh-ranked junior/sophomore Kanen Storr clinched the Wolverines' dual win with a 9-4 decision over Cory Crooks in the next bout at 141 pounds. After giving up the initial takedown, Storr took the lead with a single-leg takedown and rideout in the first period before riding out the second and breaking the match open with two takedowns in the third period. He finished with 3:17 in riding-time advantage.

Fifth-year senior Malik Amine put an exclamation point on the dual win with a 5-3 upset decision over 11th-ranked Josh Maruca in the final bout. Amine could not finish on a pair of early scoring opportunities, including a locked-up cradle off the edge in the first, and trailed until scoring a takedown out of a scramble late in the second period. He started down in the third, earned a reversal to take his first lead, and rode out the remainder of the match.

Among the Wolverines' losses early in the dual meet was a 6-4 decision from Arizona State's second-ranked and defending NCAA champion Zahid Valencia, which dealt senior/junior Myles Amine his first loss of the season at 174 pounds. Valencia scored a takedown apiece in the first and second periods before Amine, ranked third nationally, rallied with an inside trip on the edge in the third but could not finish on another third-period opportunity. He is now 10-1 on the season.

Michigan will return home and resume Big Ten Conference dual action next Saturday (Jan. 12) when it hosts Illinois at 7 p.m. at Crisler Center. The meet will be streamed live on BTN Plus, while tickets are still available through the U-M Ticket Office.

Results:
157 -- #15 Christian Pagdilao (ASU) dec. #6 Alec Pantaleo, 6-2 [ASU, 3-0]
165 -- #5 Josh Shields (ASU) dec. #6 Logan Massa, 7-3 [ASU, 6-0]
174 -- #2 Zahid Valencia (ASU) dec. #3 Myles Amine, 6-4 [ASU, 9-0]
184 -- Jacen Petersen (ASU) dec. Reece Hughes, 4-0 [ASU, 12-0]
197 -- Jackson Striggow (U-M) dec. Austyn Harris, 10-6 [ASU, 12-3]
Hwt -- Mason Parris (U-M) pinned Brady Daniel, 5:56 [ASU, 12-9]
125 -- #11 Drew Mattin (U-M) dec. Brandon Courtney, 9-7 [Tied, 12-12]
133 -- #2 Stevan Micic (U-M) tech. fall #20 Josiah Kline, 17-2 (4:26) [U-M, 17-12]
141 -- #6 Kanen Storr (U-M) dec. Cory Crooks, 9-4 [U-M, 20-12]
149 -- Malik Amine (U-M) dec. #11 Josh Maruca, 5-3 [U-M, 23-12]

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