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ASU Wrestling: #10 Arizona State drops fourth straight with a loss to #5 Missouri

Zahid Valencia lost for just the second time this season.

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

#10 Arizona State fell to #5 Missouri 30-12 Friday night in Tempe. It was their fourth straight loss and their fourth loss this season to a top-five team.

Brandon Courtney (125 lb.) put the Devils on the board early after his dual with Dack Punke went into the sudden victory round. The freshman was able to get the winning takedown against Punke and give ASU the first points of the night.

The next two bouts were a bit of a struggle. #25 Josiah Kline (133 lb.) was pinned by Missouri’s #10 John Erneste. Erneste pinned the sophomore with six seconds left to go in the first period. Right after that, freshman Navonte Demison (141 lb.) lost to #3 Jaydin Eierman. Another fall put the Tigers up 12-3 after trailing early.

The Sun Devils lost their third straight bout when #24 Josh Maruca (149 lb.) suffered a loss to the Tigers’ #7 Brock Mauller. The junior lost in a 8-6 decision, which extended the Missouri lead to 15-3 with one round to go before the half.

#15 Christian Pagdilao (157 lb.) came through in the clutch right before the break. The graduate student earned a 5-4 decision in a hard-fought battle with #17 Jarrett Jacques. Heading into the intermission, ASU trailed Missouri 15-6.

In the 165 lb. bout featuring junior #4 Josh Shields and Missouri’s #14 Connor Flynn, Shields picked up a decision and gave the Sun Devils another three points as they continued to chip away at what had been a 12 point deficit.

The shocker of the night came in the following round when #2 Zahid Valencia (174 lb.) was pinned by #4 Daniel Lewis. After a back-and-forth first period with both wrestlers trading blows, Valencia started on the bottom to begin the second. The junior’s escape attempt was denied by Lewis and he was forced back down to the ground. Lewis was then able to get Valencia on his back, and that’s when he got the pin. This was Valencia’s second loss this season, with the first one coming back in December against Penn State’s Mark Hall.

Jacen Petersen (wrestling up from 165 lb.) didn’t let Valencia’s loss phase him. The senior came through with a late takedown to secure a 4-2 decision and make it 21-12 Missouri with two rounds to go. Unfortunately, the final two rounds did not go ASU’s way.

Junior Austyn Harris (197 lb.) lost in a decision, and freshman heavyweight Brady Daniel (285 lb.) got pinned by Zach Elam.

With their win tonight, #5 Missouri is now 15-0 on the season. Not only are they undefeated, they have now won 35 straight dual meets.

#10 Arizona State continues their season next Saturday against CSU Bakersfield. The meet gets underway at 1:30 PM MT and will also air on the Pac-12 Network. Arizona State is at Wells Fargo for the rest of the regular season.