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Late wins propel Pitt to victory over Oklahoma

TUTTLE, OKLA. -- The 20th-ranked University of Pittsburgh wrestling team remains perfect after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners on the road Sunday afternoon, 20-17.

With the win, the Panthers improve to 6-0 on the year, while the Sooners move to 2-2.

For the second time this season, the dual came down to the final bout. Pitt trailed Oklahoma 17-16, but junior Demetrius Thomas stepped up to the challenge and sealed the deal once again.

The Panthers trailed 11-6 after the first five bouts, but key wins from redshirt junior Jake Wentzel at 165 pounds, redshirt freshman Nino Bonaccorsi at 184 pounds and redshirt junior Kellan Stout at 197 pounds set up the dual for Thomas in the final bout.

"It was a tough road win for us today," said head coach Keith Gavin. "Kellan had a big win in the last seconds and set Demetrius up to seal the deal. Overall, it wasn't perfect but we found a way to get it done and I'm proud of this team's attitude."

The Sooners jumped out to a 5-0 lead after freshman Brendon Fenton suffered a technical fall, 19-2, in 4:26 to Christian Moody at 125 pounds.

However, redshirt freshman Micky Phillippi improved to 10-1 on the year after getting the Panthers on the board at 133 pounds. Phillippi, who ranks No. 6 in his weight class, used his aggressive offense to defeat Anthony Madrigal in a 10-4 decision.

Oklahoma then continued to build on its lead after collecting wins at 141 and 149 pounds, bringing the team score to 11-3.

Redshirt junior Taleb Rahmani, the 10th-ranked 157 pounder, got things going again for Pitt as he picked up a 3-2 decision over Justin Thomas entering the intermission. Rahmani used an escape and takedown to secure the win and move the team score to 11-6, with the Sooners holding the advantage.

Redshirt junior Jake Wentzel returned to the win column after picking up a much-needed major decision over Jeremy Thomas at 165 pounds. The major cut Oklahoma's lead to 11-10.

The Sooners jumped to a 17-10 lead in the team race after redshirt sophomore Gregg Harvey was pinned by Anthony Mantanona at 174 pounds in 55 seconds.

Redshirt freshman Nino Bonaccorsi added three team points after a decision at 184 pounds, bringing the team score to 17-10 in favor of Oklahoma. Bonaccorsi, who ranks 12th at 184 pounds, defeated Kayne MacCallum in a 7-5 decision for his 10th win of the year.

Redshirt junior Kellan Stout continued to chip away at the Sooners' lead as he recorded a clutch win at 197 pounds. Stout trailed 3-1 with one minute to go in the third, but an escape and takedown would give him the 4-3 decision over Jake Woodley. The win cut Oklahoma's lead to 17-16 entering the final bout.

Needing a win to seal the deal, Thomas locked up the team win for the Panthers with a major decision at heavyweight. Thomas cruised to a 13-2 major decision over Jake Boyd, lifting Pitt to victory, 20-17. With the win, Thomas improves to 18-2 on the year.

The Panthers resume action Saturday, Jan. 12 at No. 23 North Dakota State before making the short trip to South Dakota State, Sunday, Jan. 13.

Results:
125: Christian Moody (OU) tech. fall Brendon Fenton (UP), 19-2, 4:26 - OU leads 5-0
133: #6 Micky Phillippi (UP) dec. Anthony Madrigal (OU), 10-4 - OU leads 5-3
141: #8 Dom Demas (OU) dec. LJ Bentley (UP), 4-2 - OU leads 8-3
149: Davion Jeffries (OU) dec. Robert Lee (UP), 9-5 - OU leads 11-3
157: #10 Taleb Rahmani (UP) dec. Justin Thomas (OU), 3-2 - OU leads 11-6
165: Jake Wentzel (UP) maj. dec. Jeremy Thomas (OU), 13-2 - OU leads 11-10
174: Anthony Mantanona (OU) pins Gregg Harvey (UP), :55 - OU leads 17-10
184: #12 Nino Bonaccorsi (UP) dec. Kayne MacCallum (OU), 7-5 - OU leads 17-13
197: Kellan Stout (UP) dec. Jake Woodley (OU), 4-3 - OU leads 17-16
285: #13 Demetrius Thomas (UP) maj. dec. Jake Boyd (OU), 13-2 - Pitt wins 20-17

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