ASU wrestling couldn’t shake off feelings of déjà vuagainst Oklahoma State at Gallagher Iba Arena, falling yet again to the sixth-ranked Cowboys with a 29-10 victory.
Coach Shawn Charles was frank about his team’s results.
“We wrestled a very good team tonight,” Charles said. “There were some situations that we just weren’t at the same level of preparedness.”
The Sun Devils (9-8, 4-1 Pac-12) were dominated in nearly every statistical category, as OSU outscored ASU 103-50 in total points, converting 29 takedowns to ASU’s 7.
However, ASU edged the Cowboys (11-5, 3-0 Big-12) in escapes 27-13, likely a result of the coaching staff’s creativity in practice in finding new ways for the Sun Devil wrestlers to earn points. OSU earned its 20th consecutive victory against ASU, giving coach John Smith a 20-1 record against the Sun Devils and extending the Cowboys’ lead 40-4 in the all-time series.
The Cowboy lineup boasted nine ranked wrestlers, which proved to be too much for the Sun Devil lightweight group to overcome. Sophomore Ares Carpio (125) allowed a rare major decision in a 19-5 loss to sophomore No. 9 Edward Kilmara, and sophomore Cord Coronado (133) suffered a 22-4 technical fall to senior Jon Morrison.
Charles offered no excuses for his veteran starters, but conceded that Coronado “only wrestled 4 or 5 matches all season,” and despite his inexperience, “he battled hard all night,” Charles said.
Conversely, Charles was disappointed with the efforts of Carpio and redshirt junior Joel Smith (157), who was pinned by No. 3 sophomore Alex Dieringer.
“(Smith) didn’t look like himself out there,” Charles said. “I expect more out of him and (Carpio).”
Smith was pinned by No. 3 sophomore Alex Dieringer in 4:11.
Charles returned to an issue that has haunted the Sun Devils throughout the regular season in his evaluation of Friday night’s meet, citing a lack of balance of contribution in the lineup.
“Our lightweights have to step up,” Charles said. “Our heavyweights carried us at the end, but we need that out of the whole team.”
While ASU will try to put the ugly loss in their rearview mirror, Charles said there were many teachable moments and positive takeaways from Friday.
“This was obviously a great program, especially for us to wrestle the week before conference,” Charles said. “It helps us understand the caliber we’re going up against, and makes us tougher.”
ASU returns to the Riches Wrestling Complex in Tempe on Monday in preparation for the Pac-12 Championships on March 2 in Palo Alto, Calif., at 11:30 a.m.
ASU will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., (host site of the 2014 Pac-12 Championships) Saturday, March 2nd at 11:30 a.m.
Reach the reporter at Stefan.Modrich@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @modrich_22