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NEW YORK - Wrestling for the first time this season at home in the University (Blue) Gym, the Columbia grapplers did not disappoint the favorable crowd, downing American, 24-13.

Josh Houldsworth notched the first of three major decisions for the Lions in the opening bout of the match. Wrestling at 165 pounds, Houldsworth recorded a takedown and near fall in the opening period to build a 5-0 advantage. He continued to build on that the next two periods, coming away with the 13-2 major decision.

No. 22 Stephen West mimicked Houldsworth, posting another major decision in favor of the Lions to give Columbia an 8-0 lead. West held a 7-0 lead after two periods of wrestling before adding three late points in the third with an escape and takedown to go up 10-2. With the riding time point, West came away with an 11-2 major decision.

Thomas Barriero got American on the board in the 184-pound bout, downing Drew Rebling, 5-2. Nick Mills came back right back for Columbia with a pin of Devon Bradley in the 197-bout. Mills victory in 3:12 ended up being a seven-point swing in favor of the Lions, as Bradley was called for unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of the match, docking American a point to put Columbia ahead 14-2.

American would rally though, winning the following three matches, two by major decision to close the gap to 14-13 heading into the 141-pound bout. First-year Alec Mooradian got the Lions back on track, registering a climatic 3-1 sudden victory in overtime to give Columbia a four-point cushion, 17-13.

No. 8 Steve Santos secured the team victory for Columbia in the next match with a one-point decision, 4-3, over Kevin Tao. The match went into the final 30 seconds all knotted at 3-3, but Santos was able to escape from Tao to notch the winning point and put Columbia up 20-13.

No. 17 Jake O'Hara put the exclamation point on the win with a 12-3 major decision over Mark Cirello. O'Hara went up 5-0 in the first period following a near fall and added two takedowns in the final period.

Columbia is back on the mats tomorrow, Jan. 27, at Hofstra. Match time against the Pride is set for 1 p.m. The Lions return home next Saturday, Feb. 2 when they host No. 8 Cornell for a 6 p.m. Ivy League battle.

RESULTS - Columbia 24, American 13
165 - Josh Houldsworth (C) wins by major decision over Phillip Barriero (A), 13-2
174 - Stephen West (C) wins by major decision over Keithen Cast (A), 11-2
184 - Thomas Barriero (A) wins by decision over Drew Rebling, 5-2
197 - Nick Mills (C) pins Devon Bradley (A), 3:12
Note: Bradley cited for unsportsmanlike conduct, AU lost team point
285 - Blake Herrin (A) wins by major decision over Chris Manna, 12-3
125 - David Terao (A) wins by decision over Penn Gottfried (C), 6-4
133 - Esteban Gomez-Rivera (A) wins by major decision over Robert Dyar (C), 12-3
141 - Alec Mooradian (C) wins by decision over John Boyle (A), 3-1, SV1
149 - Steve Santos (C) wins by decision over Kevin Tao (A), 4-3
157 - Jake O'Hara(C) wins by major decision over Mark Cirello (A), 12-3


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