MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 15, 2003) Sixth-ranked West Virginia (7-3) overpowered Ohio (8-7), 23-9, in college wrestling action Saturday night at the WVU Coliseum.

The Mountaineers won five bouts by decision and two by major decision in winning their fifth consecutive dual.

"We wanted to approach this match like a tournament after wrestling last night," head coach Craig Turbull said. "We had to make weight and compete in back-to-back days, and that's something we need to prepare for heading into the postseason. I think that approach helped us and we came out and wrestled well."

Brandon Lauer (133) got the Mountaineers started with a 10-8 win over Anthony Carrizales and Shane Cunanan (141) followed with a 4-1 decision over Jon Spires. Ohio's unbeaten and fourth-ranked Jake Percival (149) got a stiff match from No.6 Billy Smith but two Percival takedowns were the difference in the 5-3 decision.

Matt Lebe (157) got West Virginia back on track with a 12-4 major decision over Robert Lyons. Tom McMath (165) turned in a gutsy performance in his 3-1 win over Luke Moore. McMath, who had the flu and was not at full strength, scored the only takedown of the match in the first period to give him the win.

"I thought Tom showed great courage tonight," Turnbull said. "He was very sick and I was worried about him."

WVU's Greg Jones (174) added a 20-7 major decision and Ryan Wilman (184) scored three takedowns on his way to a 7-3 victory. Ohio's Joel Weimer (197) benefitted from a penalty point for stalling and an escape to come away with the 2-1 win over WVU's Adrian Thompson.

At heavyweight, Brent Miller used a terrific first period in which he scored three takedowns to cruise to an 8-3 win over Erik Jones. The Bobcats' Matt Stevens (125) ended the dual with a victory, defeating WVU's Greg White by a 6-3 margin.

The Mountaineers will attempt to defend their Eastern Wrestling League dual meet title next weekend with two difficult home conference matches against No.23 Edinboro and No.24 Cleveland State. WVU will wrestle Edinboro on Friday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m., and Cleveland State on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. Both matches will be at the WVU Coliseum.

"We have two very good teams coming to Morgantown for a part of the league championship," Turnbull said. "They should be two hard-fought matches with a lot on the line."

West Virginia 23, Ohio 9 Team Score
133 - #14 Brandon Lauer (WV) dec. Anthony Carrizales (O), 10-8 3-0
141 - #13 Shane Cunanan (WV) dec. Jon Spires (O), 4-1 6-0
149 - #4 Jake Percival (O) dec. #6 Billy Smith (WV), 5-3 6-3
157 - Matt Lebe (WV) maj. dec. Robert Lyons (O), 12-4 10-3
165 - #8 Tom McMath (WV) dec. Luke Moore (O), 3-1 13-3
174 - #1 Greg Jones (WV) maj. dec. Tony DeAnna (O), 20-7 17-3
184 - #13 Ryan Wilman (WV) dec. Travis Smith (O), 8-3 20-3
197 - Joel Weimer (O) dec. Adrian Thompson (WV), 2-1 20-6
HWT - #12 Brent Miller (WV) dec. Erik Jones (O), 8-3 23-6
125 - Matt Stevens (O) dec. Greg White (WV), 6-3 23-9

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