"I think the energy from the last match at Davidson carried over into this match for our guys tonight," head coach Clar Anderson said. "Tanner Hough has been outstanding lately. He leads the team in wins and pins and we're really pleased with how well he's been wrestling recently."
Duke dominated the match early on, jumping out to a 16-0 leads with wins in the first four bouts of the night. Hough and redshirt freshman Brandon Gambucci were the high scorers for the Blue Devils with a fall and a major decision, respectively. Redshirt senior A.J. Guardado continued his consistent performance with a narrow 3-2 decision at 149 pounds to improve to a team-best 8-1 in dual matches.
Redshirt junior Peter Terrezza started the match with a 7-4 decision over Michael Slaughter at 125 pounds. Terrezza, leading 4-1 after the first period, used a reversal in the final seconds of the second session to pull away from Slaughter and pick up his 16th win of the year.
Gambucci was outstanding at 133 pounds, posting a dominant 16-2 win over Jacob Reinemund. The Mansfield, Ohio native is now 18-8 overall and 3-3 in dual matches. His three most recent victories have all garnered bonus points for the Blue Devils.
Hough, with a team-best 20-6 record on the year, needed just the first period to earn the pin over Robert Golde. He registered a two-point takedown in the first minute and then in the final seconds of the opening period he was able to get Golde on his back for his ninth pin of the year and his fifth in the first period.
The winning continued for Duke at 149 pounds with Guardado. A winner in his previous five bouts, Guardado picked up right where he left off with a narrow one-point victory. He headed into the final period tied at two with Davante Andujar. Choosing down, Guardado needed just 14 seconds to get the escape for the win. The decision was his 18th win of the year and marked his sixth by four or fewer points.
Gardner-Webb posted victories at 157 and 165 pounds to make it a 16-7 match, but freshman Randy Roden clinched the victory for Duke with a crucial 5-1 decision at 174 pounds. The second period proved to be decisive as Roden picked up a reversal and a two-point nearfall to go in front 4-0 after a scoreless first three minutes. He added the final point for riding time to earn his 13th win of the year.
After the Bulldogs grabbed a 7-3 decision at 197 pounds over Duke's Brian Self, Duke junior Robert Mello put forth a strong effort at heavyweight. Wrestling up a weight class, Mello lost a heartbreaking 7-6 decision with a last-second takedown against Justin Kozera.
Duke returns to action, Sunday, Feb. 12 at ACC rival Maryland at 1 p.m.
Duke 22, Gardner-Webb 13
125 - Peter Terrezza (DU) dec. Michael Slaughter (GW), 7-4 (3-0)
133 - Brandon Gambucci (DU) major dec. Jacob Reinemund (GW), 16-2 (7-0)
141 - Tanner Hough (DU) pinned Robert Golde (GW), 2:59 (13-0)
149 - A.J. Guardado (DU) dec. Davante Andujar (GW), 3-2 (16-0)
157 - Alex Medved (GW) major dec. Immanuel Kerr-Brown (DU), 11-3 (16-4)
165 - Justin Guthrie (GW) dec. Ryan Harding (DU), 6-4 (16-7)
174 - Randy Roden (DU) dec. Erin O'Dell (GW), 5-1 (19-7)
184 - Diego Bencomo (DU) dec. Jason Porter (GW), 13-7 (22-7)
197 - Travis Porter (GW) dec. Brian Self (DU), 7-3, (22-10)285 - Justin Kozera (GW) dec. Robert Mello (DU), 7-6 (22-13)