A valiant effort from several competitors wasn’t enough for the University of Wyoming wrestling team Thursday night, as the Cowboys lost to the fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, 33-9.


A crowd of 1,098 in Arena-Auditorium watched as UW (1-5 overall) cut the deficit to 12-9 after five matches, but the Sooners (6-0) were victorious the rest of the way with two pins and three decisions. A talented OU squad featured a lineup with six returning All-America honorees and two NCAA champions.


Since November, the Pokes have faced four top-10 squads and all six opponents have been featured in the top-25 polls at some point.


“This dual, facing a team like Oklahoma, is the end of a long stretch that we’ve had,” Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. “I thought we came out and fought hard tonight but we gave up pins and you can’t do that. We didn’t do the little things that we needed to do. To make something special happen, you’ve got to do everything right and we weren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination.”


After two OU wins to begin the dual, junior Dakota Friesth got the Pokes on the scoreboard. He controlled his match at 165 pounds and narrowly missed a bonus-point win in a 10-4 decision. The Sooners scored a pin at 174, but redshirt freshman Benjamin Stroh gave UW six team points with a nifty fall at the 3:41 mark of his match at 184 to draw within three points.


In the night’s only matchup of top-10 wrestlers, UW junior Tyler Cox couldn’t rally from a 3-0 deficit and lost to fifth-ranked Jarrod Patterson, 4-2.


Wyoming begins its Western Wrestling Conference slate Jan. 19 with a neutral-site contest versus South Dakota State in Gillette, Wyo. The Cowboys will seek a fifth-straight conference title this season.


“We’ve got to show some maturity and bounce back from this,” Branch said. “We need to get ready for conference season and keep our heads up.”


Final results

149: #4/2/4 Kendric Maple (OU) Brandon Richardson, 9-2 / Oklahoma 3, Wyoming 0

157: Justin DeAngelis (OU) dec. #18/15/NR Andy McCulley, 5-3 / Oklahoma 6, Wyoming 0

165: #NR/NR/19 Dakota Friesth dec. Clark Glass (OU), 10-4 / Oklahoma 6, Wyoming 3

174: #1/1/1 Andrew Howe (OU) fall (3:35) Jace Jensen / Oklahoma 12, Wyoming 3

184: #NR/14/20 Benjamin Stroh fall (3:41) Danny Chaid (OU) / Oklahoma 12, Wyoming 9

197: #3/2/2 Travis Rutt (OU) dec. Shane Woods, 6-0 / Oklahoma 15, Wyoming 9

285: #14/14/14 Ross Larson (OU) fall (5:33) Leland Pfeifer / Oklahoma 21, Wyoming 9

125: #5/5/5 Jarrod Patterson (OU) dec. #8/9/NR Tyler Cox, 4-2 / Oklahoma 24, Wyoming 9

133: No. 8/8/8 Cody Brewer (OU) fall (1:52) Gunnar Woodburn / Oklahoma 30, Wyoming 9

141: #12/20/14 Nick Lester (OU) dec. Cole Mendenhall, 6-2 / Oklahoma 33, Wyoming 9