Sun Devils Host Top-Five Ohio State Before Best Crowd Since 2010

By Mollie Hanke, Arizona State | Nov. 19, 2016, 8:54 p.m. (ET)
 No. 2 Myles Martin defeats Jacen Petersen by tech fall. 
Photo: Jonny Ruggiano,
TEMPE, Ariz. –
In front of the largest home crowd since 2010, the roar of the nearly 2000 in attendance was palpable for key wins throughout the match but top-five Ohio State ultimately sealed their victory late, 27-15.

"We just did not have enough fire power today," head coach Zeke Jones said post-match. "As a team, we need to do better on the bottom. I think we need to revisit some of the training we are doing, but I am pleased with the effort from the team."

The Buckeyes took three of the first four matches en route to a 12-3 lead, but Ali Naser picked up the Sun Devils' first win at 133 with a 4-2 decision. At the time, ASU trailed by just one, 4-3.

"We are getting better; however, we feel like we disappointed the community a bit. They showed up today. There was a large crowd today and I want to thank the athletic department for working hard to get people here. But we have work to do to catch a team like that. [Ohio State} is a wonderful team. They are where we want to be, and with time we can get there, but today we did not have enough in us."

In the last bout before the half, Josh Shields defeated Jake Ryan, 13-12, ultimately decided by riding time, in notably the loudest bout of the entire match.

Following halftime, Anthony Valencia (165) and Zahid Valencia (174) won the Sun Devils' second and third straight matches to give ASU the lead, 15-12, heading into the final three bouts. Zahid defeated Seth Williams, filling in for top-ranked Bo Jordan, on a pin to pick up much needed points for ASU.

The Sun Devil lead ultimately short-lived, Ohio State won the final three bouts, all three bonus point victories, to come away with the overall win. The final hotly anticipated bout at heavyweight matched No. 4 Tanner Hall and No. 1 Kyle Snyder, the reigning Olympic champion.

"[Vice President for University Athletics and Athletics Director] Ray Anderson made it really clear that he was making an increased commitment to the program and the only thing he asked of me was to ask the community in return to support the program," Jones remembered to his hiring. "I think we saw that today. I think you saw a return of Sun Devil wrestling's community show up today."

Jones continued, "The only disappointment that I had is that we weren't able to return the favor to the community. I do think the partnership between our team, our kids and what we are trying to do and this community, we are going to get to that place. We have that commitment. I was just super happy to see them be here and in support.

There were a lot of people in those stands that saw what we did 25 years ago. Crowds like that, bigger than that, who yelled and screamed and were proud because we were getting our hand raised all the time. That didn't happen today. But I think if we continue to work and do what we are doing, we can get our hand raised."

At halftime, 1967 NCAA heavyweight champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer Curley Culp was honored with a singlet hanging from the Wells Fargo Arena rafters.

"It doesn't get any better than that," said Jones. "You honor the legacy of someone who really started the tradition. He was the first national champion. Curley exemplifies what we want to be and aspire to be not just on the mat, but off and the kind of person he is. He writes a check every month out of his own pocket. It shows that he is not just a Sun Devil and national champ of the past, but he is a part of our community forever. To honor him in our arena, where he will be there forever alongside James Harden and all the other greats."

Looking to Josh Shields and Anthony Valencia, he finished "My hope is that guys like this understand that someday they can hang their singlet in here."

The Sun Devils next head to two tournaments in the month of December – Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Dec. 2-3 in Vegas and Midlands in Evanston, Ill. Dec. 29-30. They're set to open 2017 at Iowa State on Jan. 6 before returning home next for their Pac-12 opener vs. Cal Poly on Jan. 8 at 2 p.m.

125 – Jose Rodriguez def. Josh Kramer – 13-0 Major decision – OSU 4, ASU 0
133 – #17 Ali Naser def. Brendan Fitzgerald – 4-2 Decision – OSU 4, ASU 3
141 – #12 Ke-Shawn Hayes def. Tyler Sage – 15-0 4:17 Tech Fall – OSU 9, ASU 3
149 – #7 Micah Jordan def. #20 Josh Maruca – 15-8 Decision – OSU 12, ASU 3
157 – Josh Shields def. #9 Jake Ryan – 13-12 Decision – OSU 12, ASU 6
165 – #9 Anthony Valencia def. Cody Burcher – 4-3 Decision – OSU 12, ASU 9
174 – #7 Zahid Valencia def. Seth Williams – Pin 1:44 – ASU 15, OSU 12
184 – #2 Myles Martin def. Jacen Petersen – 18-3 Tech Fall – OSU 17, ASU 15
197 – #12 Kollin Moore def. Sullivan Cauley – Pin 1:05 – OSU 23, ASU 15
HWT – #1 Kyle Snyder def. #4 Tanner Hall – 20-8 Major Decision – OSU 27, ASU 15