Feb. 4, 2011

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - NC State jumped to a 9-3 lead after four matches, but North Carolina won the next five bouts, two of them by fall, to hand the Wolfpack a 24-12 loss in Atlantic Coast Conference wrestling at Carmichael Auditorium.

With the decision, the Tar Heels improved to 7-8-1 overall, 2-3 in the ACC. The Pack dropped to 8-7 and 1-2.

NC State got off to a fast start, beginning in the first match, the 125-pound bout. UNC's Nick Shields, leading 2-1 after the first period, chose the down position to begin the second and Pedram Rahmatabadi got a three-point near fall and rode Shields the entire period. After Rahmatabadi chose the top position to start the third period, Shields got a reversal to tie the match, but Rahmatabadi escaped to take a 5-4 lead and won 6-4 after the point for riding time was added.

Dale Shull got off to a quick start for the Wolfpack at 133 pounds, taking down Pat Owens and immediately turning him for a two-point near fall. Shull rode Owens most of the first period, but Owens cut the lead to 4-2 with a reversal just inside the 30-second mark, and took over the match in the second period. Owens began with a quick reversal to knot the score at 4-4, then rode Shull the remainder of the period. Shull chose the bottom position to begin the third period, looking for a point for an escape, but Owens continued to ride him, picking up three near falls plus a point for riding time to take a 10-4 decision.

At 141 pounds, NC State's Darrius Little got a takedown against Mike Rappo and held a 2-1 lead after one period. Little opened the second period with an escape and took a 3-1 lead into the third period. Rappo began the period with an escape but Little's late takedown gave him a 5-2 decision and gave the Wolfpack a 6-3 lead. The win was Little's eighth in his last nine matches and the 12th in his last 14. He is 23-7 overall and 7-0 vs. ACC opponents for the year.



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Darrion Caldwell pushed the team score to 9-3 after disposing of Nick Stabile in almost routine fashion at 149 pounds. Caldwell took Stabile down early in the first period and added a pair of back points for a 4-0 lead. Stabile got an escape in the second, but Caldwell made it 7-1 with an escape to begin the final stanza. Stabile reversed Caldwell late, but the Wolfpack's former national champion and two-time All-American cruised to a 7-3 decision. At 9-0 for the season, Caldwell's career record now stands at 103-12. His winning percentage of .896 is just .001 shy of Sylvester Terkay's school record of .897. Caldwell now is undefeated in 30 career bouts against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.
NC State's Colton Palmer and UNC's Corey Mock, two of the ACC's best at 157 pounds, squared off in one of the main attractions of the evening. Palmer took a 2-1 lead after the first period, but a reversal and a near fall by Mock late in the second gave the UNC freshman a 6-2 lead with one period remaining. Mock then caught Palmer with a takedown midway through the final period, turned him to his back and pinned him at 5:43 to tie the team score at 9-9.

At 165 pounds, UNC's Thomas Scotton used a takedown in the first period, a reversal in the second, and a takedown in the third and took a 6-5 decision from the Wolfpack's Nijel Jones, giving North Carolina a 12-9 team lead.

The Tar Heels took a 15-9 team lead when Andre Petroski won a 4-2 overtime decision from the Wolfpack's Quinton Godley at 174. Godley had a 2-1 lead early in the third period, but Petroski tied the match with an escape, and neither wrestler could manage to score over the final 90 seconds of regulation. Petroski got the winning takedown 35 seconds into the one-minute sudden-victory period.

UNC's Antonio Giorgio took a 9-5 decision over the Wolfpack's Pat Carey at 184, in Carey's first college match. Giorgio scored four points in the first period on a takedown and a two-point near fall, then began the second period in the down position and got two points for a reversal for a 6-0 lead. Carey got an escape late in the second period, then opened the third with a reversal to cut the lead to 6-3. Giorgio escaped to extend the lead to 7-3 and withstood a late takedown by Carey to take the decision.

Zac Bennett clinched the match for the Tar Heels when he pinned KaRonne Jones at 1:40, giving UNC a 24-9 lead with one match remaining.

Eloheim Palma salvaged the final match of the night for NC State, dispatching Ben Brooks with a 3-2 decision in the heavyweight bout.

NC State returns to action on Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum with a 7 p.m. match vs. Old Dominion.

North Carolina 24, NC State 12
125 - Pedram Rahmatabadi (NCS) dec. Nick Shields, 6-4
133 - Pat Owens (UNC) dec. Dale Shull, 10-4
141 - Darrius Little (NCS) dec. Mike Rappo, 5-2
149 - Darrion Caldwell (NCS) dec. Nick Stabile, 7-3
157 - Corey Mock (UNC) pinned Colton Palmer at 5:43
165 - Thomas Scotton (UNC) dec. Nijel Jones, 6-5
174 - Andre Petroski* (UNC) dec. Quinton Godley, 4-2 sv
184 - Antonio Giorgio (UNC) dec. Pat Carey, 9-5
197 - Zac Bennett (UNC) pinned KaRonne Jones at 1:40
Hwt - Eloheim Palma (NCS) dec. Ben Brooks, 3-2