Facing a Patriot squad that entered with a 6-1 mark, the Vikings found themselves trailing, 14-10, with three bouts remaining. However, CSU ended with a flourish as the Vikings shut out Mason down the stretch to pick up the win in the program's first-ever home MAC dual.
True freshman Logan Heil got CSU off on the right foot with a dominating 18-5 victory at 125 pounds. He used six takedowns, two near-fall points, two stalling points, an escape and a riding time point to rack up points in bunches.
George Mason never led in regulation at 133 pounds, but the Patriots used late scoring to send the match to sudden victory. Mason would get the winning takedown in the extra session to get on the team scoreboard.
Facing a top-25 opponent at 141 pounds, redshirt senior Evan Cheek rode out a first-period takedown to hold a 2-0 lead after three minutes. He was able to hold onto that margin for the remainder of the match and notched a 4-2 victory for the Vikings.
Each of the next three bouts provided a lead change in the team scoring. George Mason used wins at 149 and 165 pounds to move in front while redshirt junior Nico O'Dor had given CSU points with a 5-2 win at 157. O'Dor used a pair of third-period takedowns to claim the win after the bout was tied, 1-1, earlier in the frame.
The Patriots increased their lead to 14-10 with a win via decision at 174 pounds.
True freshman DeAndre Nassar started CSU's comeback with a dominating showing at 184 pounds, claiming a 17-4 win. After leading just 2-0 after one period, Nassar poured on points in bunches, posting four takedowns and four near-fall points in the final five minutes.
Sophomore Ben Smith backed up Nassar's bonus-point win with another big margin for CSU. He tallied nine takedowns in his match and posted a 22-7 technical fall.
For the second straight dual, redshirt sophomore John Kelbly sealed the victory at heavyweight for CSU. A first-period takedown for the Viking proved to be the difference as he held on for a 3-2 win over his Patriot opponent.
With the win, Cleveland State started a season 4-0 for the first time in 16 years while the Vikings also improved to 2-0 in MAC action.
Cheek notched his team-leading 19th win of the season while Smith registered his 10th bonus-point victory. Kelbly reached double digits in wins with his victory Friday while Nassar's win was his first dual victory as a collegian.
Cleveland State will return to action on New Year's Day as it competes in the prestigious Southern Scuffle.
125: Logan Heil (CSU) over Talha Farooq (GMU) - 18-5 MD | CSU leads, 4-0
133: Josh Jones (GMU) over Justin Patrick (CSU) - 7-5 SV | CSU leads, 4-3
141: Evan Cheek (CSU) over Alex Madrigal (GMU) - 4-2 dec. | CSU leads, 7-3
149: Colston DiBlasi (GMU) over Gus Sutton (CSU) - 15-0 TF 7:00 | GMU leads, 8-7
157: Nico O'Dor (CSU) over Kolby Ho (GMU) - 5-2 dec. | CSU leads, 10-8
165: Neil Schuster (GMU) over Riley Smucker (CSU) - 6-2 dec. | GMU leads, 11-10
174: Anthony Lombardo (GMU) over Chase Archangelo (CSU) - 8-1 dec. | GMU leads, 14-10
184: DeAndre Nassar (CSU) over Ali Salem (GMU) - 17-4 MD | Tied, 14-14
197: Ben Smith (CSU) over Ramses Montalvo (GMU) - 22-7 TF 7:00 | CSU leads, 19-14
285: John Kelbly (CSU) over Jake Slinger (GMU) - 3-2 dec. | CSU wins, 22-14