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Pitt takes down NDSU

FARGO, N.D. -- The 18th-ranked University of Pittsburgh wrestling team earned its seventh win of the year Saturday evening as the Panthers defeated No. 23 North Dakota State, 22-11.

With the win, Pitt improves to 7-0 on the year for the first time since the 1986-87 season. North Dakota State moves to 6-4 overall.

Pitt fell behind 11-9 after a loss at 165 pounds, but wins at the final four weight classes would secure the dual. Overall, seven Panthers recorded wins en route to the team victory.

Pitt avenges its loss to NDSU from a year ago when the Panthers fell 28-11 at the Fitzgerald Field House. The win also marks the second over a ranked opponent this season.

"There were a lot of tight matches in today's dual and we had to get tough," said head coach Keith Gavin. "It's good to get these hard fought wins on the road, and we have another good test tomorrow at South Dakota State."

North Dakota State jumped to a 5-0 lead after freshman Brendon Fenton fell 15-0 in 5:58 to No. 9 Brent Fleetwood at 125 pounds.

Redshirt freshman Micky Phillippi got the Panthers on the board at 133 pounds after winning in a tight 2-0 decision over No. 17 Cam Sykora. The fifth-ranked 133 pounder used an escape and riding time to secure his 11th win of the year.

True seniors LJ Bentley and Robert Lee returned to the win column this evening at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively. Bentley picked up a 7-5 win over Sawyer Degen, before Lee outlasted Jaden Van Maanen, 3-2, to give Pitt a 9-5 lead.

Redshirt junior Taleb Rahmani suffered just his third loss of the year at 157 pounds. The eighth-ranked wrestler dropped a 10-4 decision to Luke Weber, bringing the team score to 9-8 in favor of the Panthers.

The Bison regained the lead, 11-9, after earning a win at 165 pounds as redshirt sophomore Jake Wentzel dropped a 7-5 decision to No. 20 Andrew Fogarty.

Redshirt junior Gregg Harvey got the momentum going for the Panthers again with a win at 174 pounds. Harvey recorded a 7-5 decision over Lorenzo De La Riva to give Pitt the lead in the team race, 12-11.

Redshirt freshman Nino Bonaccorsi continued his winning ways at 184 pounds. The 13th-ranked Panther used four takedowns, a reversal, penalty point and riding time to defeat Michael Otomo and boost Pitt's lead to 15-11.

Redshirt junior Kellan Stout picked up another clutch win at 197 pounds tonight, as his win boosted the team score to 18-11. Stout used an escape and riding time to defeat Cordell Eaton, 2-0.

In the final bout, No. 13 Demetrius Thomas recorded his eighth major decision of the year as he dominated Dan Stibral, 14-5. The junior, now 19-2 at heavyweight, won his match 14-5 as the Panthers secured the dual, 22-11.

Pitt has a quick turnaround, taking on South Dakota State Sunday, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. ET in Brookings, S.D.

Results:
125: #9 Brent Fleetwood (NDSU) tech. fall Brendon Fenton (UP), 15-0, 5:58 - NDSU leads 5-0
133: #5 Micky Phillippi (UP) dec. #17 Cam Sykora (NDSU), 2-0 - NDSU leads 5-3
141: LJ Bentley (UP) dec. Sawyer Degen (NDSU), 7-5 - Pitt leads 6-5
149: Robert Lee (UP) dec. Jaden Van Maanen (NDSU), 3-2 - Pitt leads 9-5
157: Luke Weber (NDSU) dec. #8 Taleb Rahmani (UP), 10-4 - Pitt leads 9-8
165: #20 Andrew Fogarty (NDSU) dec. Jake Wentzel (UP), 7-5 - NDSU leads 11-9
174: Gregg Harvey (UP) dec. Lorenzo De La Riva (NDSU), 7-5 - Pitt leads 12-11
184: #13 Nino Bonaccorsi (UP) dec. Michael Otomo (NDSU), 12-5 - Pitt leads 15-11
197: Kellan Stout (UP) dec. Cordell Eaton (NDSU), 2-0 - Pitt leads 18-11
285: #13 Demetrius Thomas (UP) maj. dec. Dan Stibral (NDSU), 14-5 - Pitt wins 22-11

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