Jan. 17, 2010
IOWA CITY, IA – The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team fought off a strong performance by #4 Oklahoma State, scoring a 19-16 win Saturday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. A crowd of 10,967 was on hand to see the Hawkeyes pick up their 52nd straight dual win, and beat the Cowboys for the first time in Carver-Hawkeye since December 4, 2000. Both teams won five bouts, but Iowa’s bonus-point wins at 125, 149 and 174 were the difference in the final team score. Iowa remains undefeated on the season at 14-0, while handing Oklahoma State (8-1-1) their first season loss. The match will be aired Sunday at 9 p.m. (CT) on the Big Ten Network.
“I think two years ago when Oklahoma State came to town, looking back on it, I think we made a mistake not getting ready for them,” explained Hawkeye Head Coach Tom Brands, who recorded his 90th career coaching victory with the win. “I think we did a better job getting ready for them (this year), but we left a lot of points on the mat. When you leave a lot of team points on the mat, you move a lot of team points from your column to theirs. That’s what happened.”
“I’m not going to admit it, but I feel a little bit drained because it was big for us,” said Brands. “It was a big statement for our program. I feel like our guys – as a team, as a whole – rose to the occasion. I give them credit for last weekend (at National Duals), and we’ve got to get better going into this next phase (of the season).”
Iowa jumped out to a 4-0 lead on redshirt freshman Matt McDonough’s 13-4 major decision over ninth-ranked Oklahoma State senior Chris Notte at 125. McDonough, who is ranked fourth in the nation with a 20-0 record, scored three third-period takedowns and accumulated over four minutes of riding time in the match.
Oklahoma State answered at 133 with #6 Jordan Oliver’s 3-2 upset of #4 Daniel Dennis. The Hawkeye senior led 1-0 going into the final period. Oliver, who is a redshirt freshman, escaped to tie the score at 1-1. Dennis took a 2-1 lead with less than a minute remaining when Oliver was given his second stalling warning of the bout. But Oliver scored a takedown off a scramble as time expired to record the win, and hand Dennis (8-1) his first loss of the season. It was the first match back in the lineup for Dennis, who has been out injured since Iowa’s dual with Iowa State at Ames on Dec. 6.
Hawkeye sophomore Montell Marion had a tough task against fifth-ranked sophomore Jamal Parks at 141, but blanked Parks, 4-0, to record an upset of his own. After a scoreless first period, Marion scored an escape and takedown in the second period to take a 3-0 lead. Parks chose the down position to start the third period, but could not escape. The unranked Hawkeye sophomore accumulated 3:16 of riding time during the match, improving to 12-2 on the season.
Iowa picked up critical team bonus points at 149 when top-ranked Hawkeye senior Brent Metcalf scored a 21-5 technical fall over Oklahoma State junior Quinten Fuentes in 5:15. Metcalf, who improved to 20-0 on the season, scored three takedowns and a three-point nearfall in each of the first two periods. He ended the match with an escape and takedown early in the third period.
Oklahoma State closed the gap to 12-10 with wins at the next two weights. At 157, Cowboy junior Neil Erisman recorded a 16-7 major decision over Hawkeye junior Aaron Janssen at 157. Janssen scored a second-period takedown to pull within two points (5-3), but Erisman rolled off nine straight points to score Oklahoma State’s only team bonus points of the night. Cowboy redshirt freshman Alex Meade then pulled an upset at 165 with a 5-3 win over Iowa senior Ryan Morningstar. Meade, who is ranked between 10th and 13th in the nation, scored takedowns in the first and third periods, while holding third-ranked Morningstar to three escapes in the match.
Hawkeye seniors Jay Borschel (174) and Phillip Keddy (184) stepped up to put Iowa in position for the team win. Borschel, who is ranked first or second in the nation, recorded his 80th career victory with a 9-1 major decision over Oklahoma State sophomore Mike Benefiel. Borschel, who is undefeated at 19-0 this season, scored a takedown in each period and accumulated 4:37 of riding time to hand Benefiel, who is ranked between seventh and 14th in the country, his second loss of the season. Keddy followed with a tough 3-2 win over Oklahoma State junior Clayton Foster at 184, collecting his 90th career win.
Leading 19-10 with two bouts left, Iowa’s hopes for its 52nd straight dual win rested on reserves Luke Lofthouse (197) and Blake Rasing (Hwt.). Lofthouse fought hard against seventh-ranked sophomore Alan Gelogaev, but lost the bout 3-2. Oklahoma State needed a pin from top-ranked heavyweight Jared Rosholt to tie the dual, but Rasing had other plans. Down 5-0 to start the third period, Rasing escaped and scored two takedowns of his own to pull within one (6-5), but ran out of time and lost 7-5.
The Hawkeyes also sent five unattached competitors to the annual Brand Open in Omaha, NE, Saturday. Freshman Ethen Lofthouse won the 174-pound title, while junior Tyler Clark placed second at 133 and freshman Dylan Carew placed third at 149.
Up next for top-ranked Iowa is its first Big Ten road trip of the 2009-10 season. The Hawkeyes will wrestle Michigan (4-7) Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. (CT) at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor. Then they will face Purdue (8-3) Jan. 24 at Noon (CT) at Lowell High School Gymnasium in Lowell, IN.