Braves wrestling rumbles past Belmont Abbey

Jan. 7—BELMONT — Belmont Abbey breezed to a pair of victories to open the dual and forge an early 9-0 lead, but the 18th-ranked UNC Pembroke wrestling team proved victorious in each of the last eight matches of the evening, including six wins with bonus points, to cruise past Belmont Abbey, 34-9, on Friday evening inside the Wheeler Center.

It was the third-straight triumph for the Braves (8-1, 4-0 SACC) who stayed unbeaten in South Atlantic Conference Carolinas action as well. Belmont Abbey (4-8, 0-3) has now dropped four of its last five outings, and fell to 3-18 all-time in the series with the Black & Gold.

A win via technical fall to open the night, as well as a 10-0 major decision from Ben Fielding at 133 pounds, gave the Crusaders a quick 9-0 advantage, but the Braves got on the board with a 10-1 major decision by Cody Williams at 141 pounds and then hit cruise control. The Black & Gold stormed ahead, 11-9, on the shoulders of Rahsaan Vereen's 7-3 decision in the 157-pound matchup, and the rout was on after that.

Loye Burkhead opened the second half of the dual with a second-period pin of Paul Jakub at 165 pounds, and Massimo Sullivan capped the night with a late third-period pin of John Carroll in the heavyweight bout.

The Braves will be back in action again on Thursday when they bunker down for a Witches & Wizards Night matchup with SACC rival Emmanuel (3-2, 2-2) at Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court. Wrestling action is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m.