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Phoenix flexes convincing 29-9 win at No. 12 Lindsey Wilson

Jan. 27—COLUMBIA, Ky. — No. 13 Cumberland picked up its second dominant top-15 wrestling win of the week as the Phoenix flexed their way to a 29-9 win over No. 12 Lindsey Wilson.

The match kicked off with a tight battle at 125 pounds where fourth-ranked Conner Diamond of Lindsey Wilson secured a 7-2 decision over Chris Busutil, giving the home team an early 3-0 lead. However, Cumberland quickly countered when third-ranked Sammy Shires at 133 secured a decisive 5-0 victory against No. 17 Nate Becker, leveling the score at 3-3.

A battle ensued at 141, as No. 12 Jared Dinh and No. 3 Adrian Ayala had to go to sudden victory with Ayala coming out with the 4-1 win and giving the Blue Raiders a 6-3 advantage.

11th-ranked Victor Guzman flipped the momentum to help Cumberland take control of the match with an impressive pin at 149, swinging the momentum in favor of the Phoenix at 9-6.

The momentum carried through the middleweights where the Phoenix really created separation. No. 16 ranked 165-pound wrestler Eli Clemmons wrestle down at 157 and picked up 9-5 decision. No. 3 Cole Smith dominated No. 10 Cory Cannon with a tech fall and Rocco Horvath sealed the win for CU with a tech fall of his own putting Cumberland up 26-6 with two bouts left.

Tyler Rowland battled with No. 14 Nikolas Perovic, but dropped a close decision 9-7.

Kawuan Deboe put the exclamation point on the match upsetting No. 9 Carlos Figueroa with a takedown in closing seconds of the match after trailing for a majority of the later periods for a 4-2 decision and a 29-9 Phoenix win.

With this convincing performance, Cumberland remained perfect in Mid-South Conference action at 4-0 and improved to 8-1 in duals. Depending on the results of last night's No. 5 Campbellsville and No. 10 Cumberlands match, the Phoenix could be set up for a conference championship dual against the Patriots next Friday at the Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena/Cliff Ellis Court.

CU checks in at No. 13 in NAIA wrestling pollCumberland added an impressive road win over No. 4 Campbellsville earlier this week, but slid four spots in the NAIA wrestling poll to No. 13 as announced Thursday by the national office.

The Phoenix held a 7-1 record going into Thursday night's match at No. 12 Lindsey Wilson with their only loss coming to No. 2 Life. They have wins over No. 4 Campbellsville, No. 7 Reinhardt, RV Rio Grande, RV St. Thomas and RV Midway. Cumberland is 3-0 in Mid-South competition with two conference duals left, at Lindsey Wilson and next Friday against No. 10 University of the Cumberlands.

The Phoenix have dropped from eight to six wrestlers in the NAIA top 25 individual rankings: Sammy Shires, Jared Dinh, Jack Latimer, Victor Guzman, Eli Clemmons and Cole Smith.

Shires remains the third-ranked wrestler at 133. Shires has wrestled up at 141 most of the season before moving back down to 133 at the Rocky Mountain Duals. He is 12-2 overall this season with a 9-2 record at 141. He has picked up six pins this season the most on the team.

Dinh slipped four spots from No. 8 to No. 12 at 141 after losing his last two bouts to ranked opponents. He holds a 10-7 record this season with three ranked wins. He has posted one pin this season and two tech falls.

Latimer dropped one spot to No. 7 at 149. He is 13-3 on the season and has wrestled up a weight class at 157 going 3-0 with a ranked win at the Rocky Top Duals and picking up two wins against Midway and third-ranked 157 at Campbellsville. Latimer has four pins this season, three tech falls and one major decision.

Guzman continued to soar up the ranking to No. 11 at 149. Guzman was 11-3 after adding two wins over Midway and a ranked win over Nick Moore at Campbellsville. He has two falls, two tech falls and three majors this season.

Clemmons also remains as the No. 16 ranked wrestler at 165. The former Lebanon High standout moved to 12-8 on the season. He picked up a fall against Midway and then went 3-2 at the Missouri Valley Invite over last weekend.

Smith retained his No. 3 ranking at 174. He added two more wins to his ledger against Midway and Campbellsville to improve his record to 14-3 on the season.