MINNEAPOLIS – No. 4 Iowa outscored No. 3 Minnesota 41-33 in match points to defeat the Gophers 16-15 at Williams Arena. Iowa and Minnesota were tied 15-15 after splitting 10 bouts, but the Hawkeyes (15-0, 5-1 in the Big Ten) earned the deciding team point based on the advantage in match points — the third tiebreak criteria.
“I don’t want to nitpick here but we could have scored some bonus points,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “You have to get bonus points when you can. We had some close matches that came down to finishing. If we finish we’ll see more things go our way.”
Iowa raced to a 9-0 team lead by opening the dual with three consecutive wins at 125, 133 and 141 pounds. Top-ranked Matt McDonough (125) erased a 3-0 deficit by scoring takedowns in the second and third periods and building 1:37 of riding time to win 6-3 against No. 13 David Thorn.
Tony Ramos (133) scored takedowns in each of his three periods, but was unable to finish a pair of shots in the final frame and had to settle for an 8-2 win against ninth-ranked Chris Dardanes.
Mark Ballweg (141) and No 10. Nick Dardanes traded escapes while battling to a 1-1 tie before Ballweg finished a shot with 22 seconds on the clock to win 3-1.
Minnesota’s 10th-ranked Dylan Ness cut the Iowa lead to 9-3 with an 8-2 win at 149 pounds, but Derek St. John answered with a decision at 157 to send Iowa into intermission with a 12-3 advantage. St. John scored a pair of first-period takedowns and used 1:37 of riding time to cruise to a 6-2 win against Danny Zilverberg.
For the second season in a row a victory from Nick Moore helped Iowa retain the Iowa-Minnesota Border Belt. Moore scored a major decision to help lead Iowa to a 19-17 win in 2012, and this afternoon he recorded an 8-2 win against No. 10 Cody Yohn to push the Iowa lead to 15-3. Moore earned a takedown in the first period and opened the second with an escape to build a 3-0 lead. He opened the second period with a takedown and a pair of nearfall points to extend his lead to 7-0, and nearly finished the bout with a major decision before allowing a reversal in the final seconds of the third period. His 3:41 of riding time accounted for the final tally.
Minnesota (11-2, 5-1) eventually tied the team score with decisions at the final four weights, among them two one-point wins and a contested win in sudden victory.
Mike Evans opened the 174 bout with a first-period takedown against No. 2 Logan Storley. He looked on his way to a 4-2 lead in the second frame before the officials reviewed a takedown near the edge of the mat and took two points off the board. Storley answered the reversed call with his own takedown and eventually fought off Evans’ final attack as time expired in the third.
No. 5 Kevin Steinhaus pulled Minnesota within six points with a 6-3 win at 184, and Iowa’s Nathan Burak was unable to finish an array of leg attacks and dropped a 3-1 decision at 197 to let Minnesota within three points, 15-12. Burak and No. 11 Scott Schiller traded escapes to enter sudden victory tied 1-1. Schiller was awarded the win when Burak surrendered a takedown as time expired in the overtime period. The officials reviewed play but eventually upheld the call.
The Gophers tied the team score with a 2-1 win at 285 pounds. No. 5 Bobby Telford and No. 2 Tony Nelson exchanged escapes in the second and third periods, but Nelson earned the win with a point for riding time.
“It’s a team win and winning 16-15 on criteria is better than not,” Brands said, “but we had a lot of situations we could’ve controlled and we have room for improvement. Now we go forward and look at Penn State.”