DURHAM, N.C.-Duke redshirt sophomore Immanuel Kerr-Brown captured his fifth consecutive win as the Blue Devils came up short in a 24-13 setback to Tobacco Road rival North Carolina in ACC wrestling action this evening in Card Gymnasium. The win was Kerr-Brown's second straight ACC victory.
Duke and UNC (7-6, 2-3 ACC) traded wins through the opening four bouts to stand even at 7-7 before the Tar Heels rattled off three straight victories at 125, 133 and 141-pounds to ice the 11-point triumph. The loss drops the Blue Devils to 7-7 overall and 0-4 against ACC foes.
Redshirt senior Diego Bencomo captured a win at 197 pounds in his final home match, while junior Brian Self, redshirt freshman Marcus Cain and Kerr-Brown also added wins for the Blue Devils. Both Bencomo and Self were wrestling up a weight class for Duke.
The match started at 174 pounds with a thriller between Duke redshirt freshman Trey Adamson and North Carolina's Tanner Eitel. It was a low-scoring affair between the two with Eitel holding a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. Adamson started the final stanza with an escape, but could not come up with the winning shot as Eitel held off the Riverton, Utah native for the 3-2 decision.
The Tar Heels quickly built a 7-0 lead with a major decision at 184 pounds before Duke responded with a major decision and decision at 197 and heavyweight, respectively.
Bencomo started the comeback effort at 197 with a convincing 21-12 victory over Frank Abbondanza. The Phoenix, Ariz., native attacked from the opening whistle and never looked back en route to his 11th victory of the year and his first ACC win.
Three consecutive wins, including a fall at 125, by the Tar Heels stretched the lead back to 19-7 with three matches remaining in the overall dual.
Cain brought the Blue Devils three points closer at 149 pounds, dropping Christian Barber in a 9-7 decision. Tied 3-3 after the opening three minutes, Cain rallied in the second period with a two-point nearfall and a takedown for a 7-4 lead heading into the final session. Barber quickly escaped and added a takedown to even the scoreboard 7-7. With Cain holding more than a minute of riding time for the bonus point, Barber was unsuccessful in his final takedown attempts in the waning seconds.
Kerr-Brown, fresh off of a win over Maryland, rounded out Duke's wins for the evening by taking down Christopher Mears in overtime for the 6-4 decision at 157 pounds. The pair wrestled an even match trading a takedown and two escapes apiece to force overtime at 4-4. In the one-minute sudden victory overtime period, Kerr-Brown had his first shot defended well by Mears, but he came right back and answered a Mears shot and scored the winning takedown with 17 seconds remaining. The win was Kerr-Brown's 23rd of the year and pushes his dual record to 6-4 overall.
Duke returns to action with a short trip to Chapel Hill for the UNC Duals. Duke will wrestle The Citadel and Campbell at 12 and 2 p.m., respectively, in Carmichael Arena.
North Carolina 24, Duke 13
174: Tanner Eitel (UNC) dec. Trey Adamson (DU), 3-2 (UNC 3-0)
184: Alex Utley (UNC) major dec. Dylan Ryan (DU), 14-2 (UNC 7-0)
197: Diego Bencomo (DU) major dec. Frank Abbondanza (UNC), 21-12 (UNC 7-4)
285: Brian Self (DU) dec. Jake Barnart (UNC), 2-1 (UNC 7-DU 7)
125: No. 7 Nathan Kraisser (UNC) fall Peter Terrezza (DU), 4:19 (UNC 13-7)
133: No. 19 Joey Ward (UNC) dec. Brandon Gambucci (DU), 8-2 (UNC 16-7)
141: No. 6 Evan Henderson (UNC) dec. Tanner Hough (DU), 4-2 (UNC 19-7)
149: Marcus Cain (DU) dec. Christian Barber (UNC), 9-7 (UNC 19-10)
157: Immanuel Kerr-Brown (DU) dec. Chris Mears (UNC), 5-4 SV-1 (UNC 19-13)
165: John Staudenmayer (UNC) tech fall Randy Roden (DU), 19-4 (UNC 24-13)