WVU Upsets No. 17 Pitt in Backyard Brawl
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 7, 2016) – For the second straight season, the West Virginia University wrestling team picked up a victory in the Backyard Brawl, pulling off an 18-12 upset of the No. 17 Pitt Panthers on Sunday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers won six of ten bouts and halted a six-match skid. The Panthers were the sixth top-20 opponent WVU has faced this season.
No. 13/14 Zeke Moisey used a third-period escape to win a 3-2 decision over No. 26 Lorenzo Bentley at 125, putting the Mountaineers up 3-0 early on. The Panthers took a decision at 133 to tie the team score at 3-3.
Tony DeAngelo rallied for a 10-7 decision over Nick Zanetta at 141 pounds. Zanetta led 2-0 after a first period takedown, but DeAngelo scored the reversal in the second to tie the score 2-2. After Zanetta took injury time midway through the second period, DeAngelo opted to re-start in the defensive position. Zanetta picked up four back points for a 6-2 advantage after five minutes of action. The two started the third on their feet, with DeAngelo registering a takedown to make it a two-point bout, down 6-4. Zanetta escaped, but DeAngelo scored another takedown and added four near fall points late in the third to claim the win and put the Mountaineers in front, 6-3.
“I think (Tony’s win) epitomizes our team,” said WVU coach Sammie Henson. “His whole month has kind of been like our team. We’ve faced some of the top guys in the country. I think that set the stage for today. (It was) perseverance and just staying focused, and not giving up. He was down by four or five and just kept battling. That’s the sign of a team. That’s the sign of an individual who wants to do it for himself and the team, and I think that’s a sign of our family.”
Zachary Moore posted WVU’s second straight victory, taking a 6-1 decision over Robert Lee at 149 pounds. After a scoreless first, Moore used a second-period escape, a takedown and a pair of back points for a 5-0 advantage entering the third. Lee escaped from his start on bottom in the third, but Moore added the riding time point for the 6-1 win as WVU took a 9-3 lead.
At 157 pounds, a pair of first-period takedowns put No. 15/16 Dylan Cottrell on top of Ronnie Garbinsky, 4-1, after three minutes of action. Cottrell scored a reversal in the second before adding two more takedowns for a 10-3 advantage after two periods. Garbinsky scored the reversal in the third, but Cottrell took riding time in earning the 11-5 decision that put WVU on top 12-3 heading in to the break.
Pitt earned wins by decision at both 165 and 174 pounds, cutting the West Virginia lead to three at 12-9. Bubba Scheffel got the Mountaineers back on track, claiming a 6-2 triumph over Zach Bruce at 184 pounds. Bruce struck first with a takedown, but Scheffel countered immediately with a reversal. He rode Bruce throughout the first as the two headed into the second with the score knotted 2-2. Scheffel registered another reversal and again rode Bruce through the period, leading 4-2 with two minutes to go in regulation. With Bruce on bottom, Scheffel added two more minutes of riding time, tacking on the point as WVU went ahead 15-9.
Jacob A. Smith sealed the deal for the Mountaineers with a win over Nick Bonaccorsi at 197. After a scoreless first period, Smith chose to start the second period in the defensive position. He quickly scored an escape to lead 1-0, taking his lead into the third. Bonaccorsi chose bottom the start the third, and Smith rode him out to add a point for the 2-0 decision. The Panthers took the heavyweight bout, but it was the Mountaineers who came away with the 18-12 win.
WVU hits the road for a pair of Big 12 matches next weekend. The Mountaineers head to Brookings, South Dakota, to face new league affiliate South Dakota State on Friday at 8 p.m. ET before traveling to Ames, Iowa, on Sunday to take on No. 16 Iowa State in a 3 p.m. ET dual.
West Virginia 18, No. 17 Pitt 12
125: No. 13/14 Zeke Moisey (WVU) dec. LJ Bentley (Pitt), 3-2
133: No. 20 Dom Forys (Pitt) dec. Cory Stainbrook (WVU), 11-5
141: Tony DeAngelo (WVU) dec. Nick Zanetta (Pitt), 10-7
149: Zachary Moore (WVU) dec. Robert Lee (Pitt), 6-1
157: No. 16/15 Dylan Cottrell (WVU) dec. Ronnie Garbinsky (Pitt), 11-5
165: No. 26 Cody Wiercioch (Pitt) dec. Connor Flynn (WVU), 13-6
174: Te’Shan Campbell (Pitt) dec. Ross Renzi (WVU), 3-1
184: Bubba Scheffel (WVU) dec. Zach Bruce (Pitt), 6-2
197: No. 9/10 Jacob A. Smith (WVU) dec. Nick Bonaccorsi (Pitt), 2-0
HWT: No. 17 Ryan Solomon (Pitt) dec. A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU), 3-0
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