ASU wrestling prevails over Boise State in final match of the season

Three pins, four major decisions and one technical fall highlights the ASU victory

ASU finished its regular season 10-4 and 4-1 in conference play after trouncing Boise State 39-6 – the teams highest scoring output this season. ASU No. 1 redshirt freshman Zahid Valencia managed to stay undefeated and becomes the first ASU wrestler to do so since Anthony Robles.

ASU’s head coach Zeke Jones inserted Michael Nguyen (125 lbs.) into his lineup and it paid off, as Nguyen pinned Boise State’s junior Will Bardezbain in 2:10. His performance set the tone for the rest of the Sun Devil’s as they showcased a commanding performance over the Broncos from start to finish via bonus points.

“(Josh) Maruca, (Josh) Shields, (Anthony) Valencia, (Zahid) Valencia and (Tanner) Hall are all doing what they are supposed to do,” Jones said. “ They are putting people on their backs and that is hard to beat when you do that.”

The Sun Devil’s No. 11 redshirt freshman Josh Shields (157 lbs.) scored his third straight bonus point victory by defeating Boise State’s redshirt freshman Fred Green 20-11. He began his streak by pinning his Oregon State opponent last Sunday, then followed with a major decision win this past Thursday against CSU Bakersfield and closed with a major decision win this afternoon.

At the 165 lbs. division, ASU’s No. 7 redshirt freshman Anthony Valencia recorded his 11th pin of the season and 20th bonus point in a win over Boise State's redshirt freshman Demetrius Romero – pinned at 5:36. Valencia is tied for an ASU record for the sixth most bonus point wins during a season.

Following ASU's junior Jacen Peterson’s win at 174lbs, No. 1 Valencia (184 lbs.) completed his undefeated regular season and scored ASU’s fifth straight bonus point victory by pinning Boise State’s redshirt sophomore Kadyn Del Toro in under three minutes. He finished 31-0 on the season and his next task consists of keeping his perfect record alive at the Pac-12 Championships.

“I think we are wrestling our best coming down to the end of the season,” Jones said. “Lots of bonus points, taking care of the small things on the mat, good focus and intensity and wrestling aggressive.” 

The No. 13 Sun Devils have picked up momentum, winning three straight meets. They will head to the Pac-12 Championships on Feb. 26 in Stanford, CA. The two-week break should serve as an opportunity for the team to revamp before they head to California.

Reach the reporter at or follow @felipecorraljr on Twitter.

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