NEW YORK — No. 2 Oklahoma State is 2-0 on the weekend after sweeping its competition at the inaugural Grapple at the Garden event in Madison Square on Sunday, defeating Chattanooga 41-9 and No. 8 Cornell 21-16.
“We had two good matches,” coach John Smith said. “We wrestled well [Sunday], and the bonus points made the difference in the lop-sided score against Chattanooga and the outcome against Cornell.”
To begin the day, the Cowboys (6-0) took on the Mocs of Chattanooga and picked up four falls in a row between the 149 and 174 weight classes, which included Dallas Bailey in the 157 slot. Against No. 8 Cornell, OSU won five of the bouts with four coming with bonus points attached.
Highlighting the day for the Cowboys were Jon Morrison, Jordan Oliver and Chris Perry, each snatching two wins on the day. No. 7 Morrison shut out UTC’s Marvin Lopez 13-0 and No. 17 Nick Arujua of Cornell 5-0. Oliver, ranked No. 2 nationally, pinned Jared Presley from UTC shortly into the second period after racking up 24 points in the first. He went on to win by a major decision against No. 18 Chris Villalonga of Cornell. Top-ranked Chris Perry earned the Cowboys 12 points with his two falls against Jake Young of Chattanooga and Duke Pickett from Cornell.
“It was a good experience getting to wrestle in Madison Square Garden,” Perry said. “The first match felt pretty good. The second match, I felt like I didn’t wrestle as well even though I got a pin. I started out slow and didn’t get the scores that I wanted on my feet, but it was good to get a couple of wins [Sunday].”
Perhaps the most anticipated match of the day came against Cornell at 165 pounds where No. 3 Tyler Caldwell took on No. 1 Kyle Dake. The two battled the full seven minutes, but Dake came out on top 4-1. He was named the outstanding wrestler for the tournament after defeating Caldwell and No. 13 Zach Toal of Missouri.
“At 165, there just wasn’t enough,” Smith said. “We gave up an easy reversal, and the momentum changed at that point. Tyler [Caldwell] will be OK. He’ll bounce back.”
Others crucial to the Cowboys win against the Big Red were No. 9 Alex Dieringer at 157 pounds and No. 4 heavyweight Alan Gelogaev, each securing major decisions against their opponents in their only bouts of the day.