HAYS, Kan. -- Casy Rowell had a key second-period fall and Jordan Basks rolled to an easy major decision to spark No. 5-ranked Central Oklahoma to a tough 22-16 victory against No. 6 Fort Hays State on Thursday night.
The Bronchos led 16-7 before the Tigers won three consecutive weights to tie it going into the final match, but FHSU's lone heavyweight was out with illness and eighth-ranked Cody Dauphin picked up a forfeit to give UCO the victory.
"We're pretty fortunate to win the dual," UCO head coach David James said. "We gave up a lot of silly points in some matches that hurt us and we did just enough to win the match."
Cory Dauphin and Chris Watson also won for the Bronchos, who improved to 5-2 heading into Saturday's Midwest Duals in Kearney, Neb., where UCO will take on No. 4 Nebraska-Kearney, No. 9 Western State and California Baptist.
"Casy looked stellar [Thursday night] and picked up a big fall for us," James said. "Jordan did what we needed him to do in getting a major decision, Cory wrestled a smart match against a tough kid and Chris won a gritty, physical match that we had to have."
Rowell had four takedowns and a near-fall in opening up a 10-3 first-period lead against Symon Seaton at 133 pounds and got another takedown early in the second before picking up his second fall of the season at the 4:39 mark.
FHSU led 7-6 going into the 149-pound match when the top-ranked Basks racked up three takedowns and three near-falls in a 15-1 major decision for his 17th bonus-point win of the season to put the Bronchos in front.
Dauphin followed with his 33rd consecutive win as the top-rated senior star used two first-period takedowns to take control en route to a methodical 6-3 victory against Mitchell Means 6-3 in improving to 15-0 on the season.
Watson capped the three-match winning streak, using a third-period escape and takedown to break a 2-2 tie and trim Bradley Little 5-2 as the No. 1-ranked junior moved to 19-0.
That gave UCO a 16-7 lead, but the Tigers won the next three matches to tie it and set up the anticlimactic finish.