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Lehigh takes final 9 bouts in 36-3 win at Binghamton

VESTAL, N.Y. -- In its first dual action of the new year, No. 14 Lehigh rolled to a 36-3 win over Binghamton Friday evening at Events Center. The Mountain Hawks dropped the opening bout, then rolled off nine consecutive victories. Lehigh wrestlers posted five bonus wins, including a first period pin by junior Brandon Paetzell, while junior Chris Weiler knocked off a top 10 opponent.

The win, Lehigh's fourth straight, moves the Mountain Hawks to 5-3 overall and 1-1 against EIWA opponents.

"We wrestled really well," Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said. "We're excited about the way we're competing right now. There are still some areas we have to improve on, but we're working on it. We've been focused. It has been a good month or so of training. We have a long way to go, with a big one tomorrow. Some big ones next week. We'll enjoy this tonight, but tomorrow it's right back to work."

The dual started at 149 where sophomore JT Cooley made his dual debut, but came up on the short end of a 6-0 decision against Matt Swanson.

From there, Lehigh dominated.

Sophomore Josh Humphreys put Lehigh in front for good with an 8-0 decision over Chris Barker at 157. Humphreys scored takedowns in each period plus a second period escape and 3:34 of riding time advantage.

A forfeit to freshman Brian Meyer at 165 extended Lehigh's lead to 10-3. Senior Jordan Kutler then followed with a 6-1 win over Alex Melikian at 174 to put the Mountain Hawks up 13-3.

Weiler kept things rolling for the Mountain Hawks with an impressive 6-2 win over sixth-ranked Lou Deprez at 184. Coming off a Southern Scuffle title last week, Deprez opened the first period scoring with a takedown, but Weiler reversed late to tie the bout 2-2 after one. Weiler used a strong effort on top to ride out the second period. In the third Deprez conceded the go-ahead escape and then Weiler scored a counter takedown off a Deprez shot to go up 5-2. He rode out to add on the riding time point. Weiler's win avenged a loss to Deprez in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Southern Scuffle.

"Chris' attitude going back all the way to the Oklahoma State match has just been different," Santoro said. "Sometimes, it takes a few weeks to kick in, but now he's just wrestling looser. He has taken the pressure off. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, just go out and perform. He's buying into himself and what he is capable of doing, because when Chris is wrestling to his ability, he's really hard to beat."

Junior Jake Jakobsen followed with the second of three Lehigh major decisions on the night. After a scoreless first period, Jakobsen scored an escape, takedown and two point near fall to lead 5-0 after two, and added two more takedowns in the third plus a stalling point and a late four point near fall in what ended as a 15-1 major decision over Sam Deprez.

At 285, junior Jordan Wood kept things rolling with a 6-3 decision over Joe Doyle.

Paetzell picked up his second fall of the season at 125. He took down Carson Sauriol early and then used a trio of four point near falls to build a 14-0 lead before sticking Sauriol at 2:49 to put Lehigh up 29-3.

Junior Nick Farro followed with a 15-5 major decision over Tomasso Frezza at 133, racking up six takedowns along the way.

Sophomore Dan Moran got the nod at 141 to close the dual and out-scrambled Anthony Sparacio to win 9-6. Moran took a 2-0 lead with a takedown late in the first period and added a reversal and takedown in the second before closing out the match with a takedown in the third to secure Lehigh's ninth straight victory to close the dual.

"Every coach in the country wants to see their guys score early and score late," Santoro said. "We've done a nice job with that. We just need to be consistent and continue to do those things throughout the remainder of the season. In just two months, we're getting ready for the NCAA Tournament. It goes quickly. As long as we keep improving and the guys stay focused we'll be all right."

The Mountain Hawks wrap-up their New York trip on Saturday with a visit to longtime rival and 19th-ranked Cornell. The match is set for a 1 p.m. start from the Friedman Wrestling Center in Ithaca, N.Y. Video coverage will be available on ESPN+ (subscription required), while audio will be available on Fox Sports Radio 1230/1320 AM and 94.7 FM Allentown as well as LVFoxSports.com.

The 2019-20 Lehigh wrestling season is presented by the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.

Results:
149 - Matt Swanson (BU) dec. JT Cooley (Lehigh) 6-0
157 - Josh Humphreys (Lehigh) major dec. Chris Barker (BU) 8-0
165 - Brian Meyer (Lehigh) wins by forfeit
174 - Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) dec. Alex Melikian (BU) 6-1
184 - Chris Weiler (Lehigh) dec. Lou Deprez (BU) 6-2
197 - Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) major dec. Sam Deprez (BU) 15-1
285 - Jordan Wood (Lehigh) dec. Joe Doyle (BU) 6-3
125 - Brandon Paetzell (Lehigh) Fall Carson Sauriol (BU) 2:49
133 - Nick Farro (Lehigh) major dec. Tomasso Frezza (BU) 15-5
141 - Dan Moran (Lehigh) dec. Anthony Sparacio (BU) 9-6

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