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Iowa wrestlers dominate Oklahoma State, 28-7
Spencer Lee ends his Carver-Hawkeye Arena career as it started, with a quick pin
IOWA CITY — Spencer Lee’s Carver-Hawkeye wrestling career ended as it began.
The Iowa senior decked Oklahoma State’s Reece Witcraft in 51 seconds Sunday afternoon, helping the No. 2 Hawkeyes notch a 28-7 win over No. 6 Oklahoma State before 14,905 fans.
His first win at home in 2017 was a 46-second pin of Michigan State’s Rayvon Foley.
“My dad texted me ‘start with a pin, end with a pin,’” Lee said after the Hawkeyes celebrated senior day by winning eight of the 10 bouts. “That’s cool.”
Lee, like fellow seniors Max Murin and Jacob Warner, aren’t finished though. There’s more, much more, ahead in this college wrestling season.
The Big Ten Championships are March 4-5 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The NCAA Championships are March 16-18 in Tulsa, Okla.
That’s what matters most. Always has, always will.
“We’re trying to win a Big Ten title and a national title,” Lee said. “Wrestle hard, wrestle smart.”
Or, as Iowa Coach Tom Brands said, “we have to be at our best now.”
Five of the 10 bouts Sunday were decided by two points or less. The Hawkeyes won four of them.
“Winning close matches is important,” Brand said after the Hawkeyes finished the regular season 15-1, dropping the Cowboys to 14-3.
“There’s always things that you’re not satisfied about ... (but) sometimes dominant wrestlers need to win closes matches.”
The dual started with five hard-fought matches. Five matches all won by the Hawkeyes.
The biggest was Nelson Brands’ 3-2 upset of No. 7 Dustin Plott at 174. Brands scored a second-period takedown and a third-period escape to win the bout.
Patrick Kennedy opened the dual at 165 with a 7-4 win over Wyatt Sheets, scoring three takedowns. Abe Assad returned to the lineup and beat Travis Wittlake, 4-2, at 184, using a takedown and two escapes to offset a Wittlake reversal.
“That was a gutsy win,” Brands said.
“I’ve come a long way in winning those close matches,” Assad said. “I’m feeling good, ready to roll in this postseason.”
Warner, an NCAA runner-up last March who has struggled lately, needed 3:27 of riding time to topple Luke Sorber, 3-2, at 197. Third-ranked Tony Cassioppi scored a takedown and had 2:16 of riding time to beat Konner Doucet, 4-0.
The Hawkeyes scored just six takedowns in the first five matches and had only 21 of their 42 match points.
Lee sparked the sold out crowd after intermission, coming out of a scramble and decking Witcraft with 2:09 left in the first period.
“Wrestling through every position hard,” Lee said of this latest win.
After the Cowbys’ second-ranked Dalton Fix used a late flurry for a 11-3 major decision over Brody Teske at 133, Iowa’s Real Wood answered with an 11-0 major of his own, scoring two takedowns and four nearfall points to dominate Carter Young.
Murin made it 3-for-3 for the Iowa seniors with a 4-3 win over Victor Voinvich at 149, before OSU’s Kaden Gfeller closed to the dual with an overtime win over Cobe Siebrecht.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Brand said. “Our work is not done.”
IOWA 28, OKLAHOMA STATE 7
(Individual takedowns in parentheses)
At Carver-Hawkeye Arena
165 pounds — Patrick Kennedy (I) dec. Wyatt Sheets, 7-4 (3,1); 174 — Nelson Brands (I) dec. Dustin Plott, 3-2 (1,0); 184 — Abe Assad (I) dec. Travis Wittlake, 4-2 (1,0); 197 — Jacob Warner (I) dec. Luke Surber, 3-2 (0,1); Hwt. — Tony Cassioppi (I) dec. Konner Doucet, 4-0 (1,0); 125 — Spencer Lee (I) pinned Reece Witcraft, :51 (1,0); 133 — Dalton Fix (OSI) dec. Brody Teske, 11-3 (2,0); 141 — Real Woods (I) dec. Carter Young, 11-0 (2,0); 149 — Max Murin (I) dec. Victor Voinvich, 4-3 (1,1); 157 — Kaden Gfeller (OSU) dec. Cobe Siebrecht, 2-1, OT (0,0)
TOTALS: Takedowns — Oklahoma State 5, Iowa 10; Reversals — OSU 3, Iowa 0; Nearfall points — OSU 4, Iowa 4; Escapes — OSU 6, Iowa 15; Penalty points awarded — OSU -, Iowa 1; Riding time points — OSU 1, Iowa 2; Total match points — Iowa 42, OSU 26
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