Iowa win sets up battle of undefeateds in the finals of NWCA National Duals
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa advanced to the finals of the EAS/NWCA National Dual Tournament with a 24-8 win against No. 5 Cornell on Saturday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The top-ranked Hawkeyes (17-0) will meet second-ranked Missouri (23-0) on Sunday. It marks the final dual of the regular season for the only two undefeated teams in the country. Missouri advanced to the finals with a 23-9 win against No. 11 Lehigh.
Iowa jumped to a 12-0 lead on the Big Red by sweeping the first four matches, including three wins against ranked opponents.
Thomas Gilman and Brandon Sorensen both defeated top five opponents at 125 and 149, and Cory Clark won 6-2 against No. 16 Mark Grey at 133. Gilman recorded a takedown late in the third period to defeat No. 3 Nahshon Garrett, 3-1, at 125, and Sorensen's second-period takedown was enough to defeat No. 5 Chris Villalonga, 4-1, at 149.
Missouri cut Iowa's lead to 12-6 with wins at 157 and 165 before Mike Evans gave the Hawkeyes' breathing room with a 3-0 win at 174. Evans led 1-0 after two periods when 18th-Duke Pickett chose to start the third in the neutral position. Evans cemented the decision with a takedown in the final minute to earn his 100th career win.
Top-ranked Gabe Dean kept Cornell in the match with a 6-2 win against eighth-ranked Sammy Brooks at 184, but Iowa's Nathan Burak clinched the dual win with a 3-2 decision against ninth-ranked Jace Bennett. Burak used an escape and a takedown in the second period to give Iowa an 18-8 edge.
The scored stretched to 24-8 when Cornell forfeited at heavyweight.
"We've got to do a better job," said UI head coach Tom Brands. "We definitely have to do more [on offense].
"We'll get ready for tomorrow and then talk about today after tomorrow. Just like after Chattanooga, we didn't dwell on Gilman, we got Gilman ready for Garrett. We're doing the same thing right now for Missouri."