CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Duke wrestling redshirt senior Jacob Kasper picked up his 100th career victory and 31st of the season with a dominant 16-1 technical fall at North Carolina Wednesday evening. The No. 24 Tar Heels came away with the 28-14 victory in the dual.
The Blue Devils fall to 6-7 overall and 1-4 against ACC foes, while North Carolina improves to 9-10 overall and 3-2 in league action.
Third-ranked Kasper closed out a tough night out in strong fashion for the Blue Devils. The Lexington, Ohio native led 1-0 after a penalty point against Andrew Gunning and then went to work and led 14-1 after two periods. He needed just 24 more seconds in the third period to earn his seventh technical fall of the year.
Kasper is now 31-2 on the season and 100-36 in his career. He is on pace to break the Duke single-season wins record, needing six more victories to surpass John Barone’s mark of 36. Those six wins also would put him at second on the career wins list.
The Blue Devils led 6-0 after a forfeit by the Tar Heels at 125-pounds, but North Carolina won the next three, two of which came with bonus points, to go ahead 13-6.
Duke redshirt junior Mitch Finesilver picked up a big top 20 victory at 157 pounds, besting No. 15 Kennedy Monday by a 4-0 decision. After a scoreless first period, Mitch escaped early in the second period for the 1-0 advantage. Mitch, the nation’s 10th-ranked wrestler, added a takedown late in the period for the 3-0 lead and forced a second stall call on Monday in the third for his 25th win of the year.
Within striking distance of the lead at 13-9, Zach Finesilver came out at 165 looking to pull the Blue Devils even closer. Zach, trailing 5-3 after two periods, started the third in the top position. The Greenwood Village, Colo., native rode well in the third and was nearly able to turn him to get the tie, but McClure fought well to earn the decision and increase the Tar Heel lead to seven, 16-9.
The most exciting match of the night came at 174 between No. 18 Matt Finesilver and No. 16 Ethan Ramos. The Tar Heel senior scored a pair of first period takedowns for a 4-2 lead, but Matt cut the lead to 4-3 in the second to set up a thrilling final period.
The Duke rookie scored his first takedown of the match to grab the lead 5-4 with 90 seconds remaining. Ramos answered with a reversal for the 6-5 lead and was able to build his riding time to over a minute before Matt escaped. Ramos tacked on another takedown to outlast Matt 9-6 in the thriller.
North Carolina picked up wins at 184 and 197, leaving Kasper to finish the night with a bang.
The Blue Devils finish regular season action Saturday, Feb. 17 against Old Dominion. Duke will honor three seniors prior to the match against the Monarchs. First bout set for 2 p.m., in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
No. 24 UNC 28, Duke 14
125 – Thayer Atkins (Duke) wins by forfeit [UNC 0, Duke 6]
133 – Zach Sherman (UNC) decision Josh Finesilver (Duke), 10-4 [UNC 3, Duke 6]
141 – No. 19 A.C. Headlee (UNC) major decision Jeremiah Reitz (Duke), 10-2 [UNC 7, Duke 6]
149 – No. 8 Troy Heilmann (UNC) fall Brandon Leynaud (Duke), 2:24 [UNC 13, Duke 6]
157 – No. 10 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) decision No. 15 Kennedy Monday (UNC), 4-0 [UNC 13, Duke 9]
165 – Josh McClure (UNC) decision Zach Finesilver (Duke), 5-3 [UNC 16, Duke 9]
174 – No. 16 Ethan Ramos (UNC) decision No. 18 Matt Finesilver (Duke), 9-6 [UNC 19, Duke 9]
184 – No. 17 Chip Ness (UNC) fall Kaden Russell (Duke), 4:24 [UNC 25, Duke 9]
197 – No. 15 Danny Chaid (UNC) decision Alec Schenk (Duke), 7-4 [UNC 28, Duke 9]
285 – No. 3 Jacob Kasper (Duke) tech fall Andrew Gunning (UNC), 16-1, 5:28 [UNC 28, Duke 14]