LARAMIE, Wyo. --- The University of Wyoming wrestling team let a chance for an upset win over No. 2-ranked Oklahoma State slip away in the final three matches Sunday afternoon, falling 24-17.
Wyoming brought the crowd of 1,184 fans at UW's Arena-Auditorium to its feet by winning four consecutive matches to take a lead. Wyoming's Shane Onufer (165 pounds), Patrick Martinez (174), Joe LeBlanc (184) and Alfonso Hernandez (197) earned wins to keep UW in contention the whole day.
At 197 pounds, Wyoming junior Alfonso Hernandez, ranked No. 12 in the nation, beat No. 5-ranked Cayle Byers of OSU in a hard-fought 8-4 decision to give Wyoming a 17-9 lead with three matches remaining. Byers was the highest-ranked opponent Hernandez has beaten this season, and he earned his 24th win of the year.
Following Hernandez's win, second-ranked Alan Gelogaev of OSU pinned Wyoming's L.J. Helbig in the heavyweight bout at the 3:22 mark. No. 10 Jon Morrison (OSU) beat Kasey Garnhart in a 4-1 decision in the 125-pound match, and in the final bout, the 133-pound matchup, No. 1 Jordan Oliver pinned Wyoming's Zach Zehner, ranked 14th, at the 5:44 mark.
The conclusion of the dual was a disappointment to Wyoming coach Mark Branch, but he said he and the Cowboys must regroup for a dual vs. Oklahoma on Tuesday night.
"I don't care who you're wrestling, the loss is the same," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. "We had some good efforts, put ourselves in position against a great team to have an opportunity to win, but when you lose, you lose.
"I liked a lot of things and the fact we got some things rolling, but we dropped off there at the end and didn't capitalize. To beat a team like that, we have to have an inspired effort from 10 guys."
Wyoming will host the Sooners at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Arena-Auditorium.