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UVU wrestling: Wolverines come from behind to top Boise State

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 1 2014 11:04 p.m. MST

UVU senior Avery Garner gets his arm raised by the official on Saturday evening in the PE Building in Orem after securing the dual meet for the Wolverines. Garner won his match over Boise State's Brian Owen, 6-3.

Linsey Craig, UVU Athletics

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Utah Valley managed to overcome a late 18-10 deficit to defeat Boise State, 23-18, in come-from-behind fashion Saturday evening in front of 1,785 fans at the PE Building. The victory marked UVU's (4-6, 0-0 WWC) third straight home win over the Broncos (3-7, 2-3 Pac-12).

Ninth-ranked J.T. Felix gave BSU a late 18-10 lead after pinning UVU freshman Richard Larsen at heavyweight with three bouts to go. But sophomore Jade Rauser (125 pounds) immediately responded for the Wolverines in his first match back from an injury with a 10-1 major decision over Sandy, Utah, native Rami Haddadin to cut the deficit to 18-14. Sophomore 133-pounder Chasen Tolbert then gave UVU its first lead of the contest by pinning Ben DeMuelle just 49 seconds into his bout. Tolbert picked up the quick fall after catching DeMuelle in a cradle.

With the Wolverines holding to a slim 20-18 advantage, senior 141-pounder and Boise native Avery Garner took the mat for UVU to take on three-time NCAA qualifier Brian Owen. Garner didn't waste any time as he came out looking to score right out of the chute. The UVU senior picked up two first-period takedowns to jump out to a 4-1 lead in the final match of the evening. After a scoreless second period, Garner then finished off the victory with another takedown in the final period to pick up a huge 6-3 win over Owen.

"We knew there were going to be a lot of close matches tonight," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "We didn't expect to lose a couple of the matches that we wound up dropping, but I was very pleased with how our final three guys wrestled. Jade and Chasen gave us the spark that we needed and Avery really capped it off for us."

Boise State jumped out to a 12-0 advantage in the early stages of the contest after winning the first three matches. The Wolverines countered, however, with three straight wins of their own to make it a 12-10 affair after six bouts.

Senior 174-pounder Monte Schmalhaus got things going for UVU with a 9-0 major decision over Austin Dewey. Junior 184-pounder Ethan Smith followed that up with a hard fought 8-5 decision over Andrew Tiedman, and sophomore 197-pounder Derek Thomas capped the rally with a 5-3 overtime win over Cody Dixon. Thomas trailed Dixon, 3-2, with seconds remaining in the third period, but Thomas was awarded a point for stalling after Dixon tried to flee the mat. The Wolverine sophomore then won the bout with a takedown in the first sudden victory period.

In all, the Wolverines won six of the 10 bouts to pick up the victory over the Broncos.

"We dealt with some adversity tonight with Adam Fager being out with an injury, but Derek Thomas really came through for us with his overtime victory," Williams said. "I'm proud of this team. This team has done a nice job of being able to battle through a number of misfortunes and keep their chins up."

The victory marked Utah Valley's second of the season over a Pac-12 opponent.

UVU will remain home next week to begin its Western Wrestling Conference slate against South Dakota State on Thursday and No. 21 North Dakota State on Friday. Utah Valley will then hit the road the following week to face Northern Colorado (Feb. 12), Air Force (Feb. 14) and Wyoming (Feb. 15). The Wolverines will then return home to host the 2014 NCAA West Regional/WWC Championships in the UCCU Center on March 8.

Utah Valley 23, Boise State 18

149: Chris Castillo (BSU) Dec. Trevor Willson (UVU), 6-1

157: Steven Hernandez (BSU) Fall Chase Cuthbertson (UVU), 2:40

165: Holden Packard (BSU) Dec. Curtis Abner Cook (UVU), 6-4 {SV}

174: Monte Schmalhaus (UVU) Maj. Dec. Austin Dewey (BSU), 9-0

184: Ethan Smith (UVU) Dec. Andrew Tiedman (BSU), 8-5

197: Derek Thomas (UVU) Dec. Cody Dixon (BSU), 5-3 {SV}

285: #9 J.T Felix (BSU) Fall Richard Larsen (UVU), 1:55

125: Jade Rauser (UVU) Maj. Dec. Rami Haddadin (BSU), 10-1

133: Chasen Tolbert (UVU) Fall Ben Demuelle (BSU), 0:49

141: Avery Garner (UVU) Dec. Brian Owen (BSU), 6-3

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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