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Heavyweight Win Lifts Oklahoma Over WVU Wrestling in Big 12 Opener



WVU Wrestling Michael Wolfgram

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— Two late victories helped No. 18 Oklahoma counter a run by WVU wrestling and gave the Sooners a 21-19 victory over the No. 21 ranked Mountaineers during Sunday’s Big 12 opener inside the WVU Coliseum.

West Virginia held a 19-13 lead following Dennis Robin’s 11-0 major decision victory over Giuseppe Hoose at 184 pounds. From there, the Sooners mounted their comeback.

No. 3 ranked Stephen Buchanan defeated Austin Cooley by technical fall at 197 to close West Virginia’s lead to 19-18.

Mountaineers heavyweight Michael Wolfgram then jumped out to a 7-2 lead over Josh Heindselman in the second period, but the Oklahoma redshirt senior rattled off seven consecutive points, capped off by a takedown with 14 seconds remaining, to defeat Wolfgram 9-7 and claim the match.

West Virginia head coach Tim Flynn challenged the call, but the points were upheld after video review.

“We’re very disappointed. I think we let one slip away,” Flynn said. “It appears from the outside that it came down to the last match, but we dropped some matches in the lighter weights that we thought we were going to win. We honestly put ourselves in a position to lose.”

The loss gives the Mountaineers their first defeat of the season after starting 4-0 for the first time in 30 years. Oklahoma (4-1, 2-1) improved to 13-2 all time against West Virginia, which was hosting its first Top 25 matchup since 2016.

Oklahoma began the match with two victories at 125 and 133 to grab an early 7-0 lead. Conrad Hendriksen handed Jett Strickenberger his first loss of the season with a 6-4 decision, and Jace Koelzer beat Davin Rhoads via a 12-4 major decision.

The Mountaineers got on the board when No. 14 ranked Mosha Schwartz suffered a shoulder injury in the 141-pound matchup with Jordan Titus, forcing him to withdraw from the match.

Oklahoma led 7-6 before West Virginia standout freshman Ty Watters fell at 149 pounds for his first dual meet loss of the year and John Wiley edged Caleb Dowling 4-3 at 157 to put the Sooners in front 13-6.

West Virginia answered with a run of its own in the middleweights, started by Peyton Hall pinning No. 13 Cael Carson in 6:04 at 165 pounds. Brody Conley followed with a 4-1 decision over Gerrit Nijenhuis before Robin’s win set up the Sooners’ finish.

The Mountaineers will fly to Colorado for a two-match road trip this weekend, beginning with a match at Air Force at 9 p.m. Friday night before visiting Northern Colorado at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Click here for more of WV Sports Now’s coverage of the WVU wrestling program.

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