CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa wrestling bounced back from a home loss Friday night to South Dakota State with a 20-13 win over No. 21 Missouri Sunday afternoon at West Gym.
Trailing 10-6 at intermission, the 16th-ranked Panthers strung together wins at 165, 174 and 184 to regain the lead at 16-10.
“We just got to be consistent,” UNI coach Doug Schwab said. “You shouldn’t have to have (South Dakota State) happen, but sometimes you need that. I think great teams and competitors respond in that fashion. It was a good response by our team. As always it could be better.
“We scored points. We rode really hard and, man, we hustled.”
At 165 Austin Yant’s escape during a tiebreaker gave him a 4-3 decision over Peyton Mocco and brought the Panthers back within one at 10-9.
“We came out a little flat the other night, (but) short-term memory, that’s the biggest thing,” Yant said. “(Schwab) talked a lot about ‘give me the ball,’ ya know? I want to be the guy, I want it on me and so I took that mentality.”
No. 5 Bryce Steiert (16-2) followed Yant’s win with a 10-1 major decision over No. 19 Jeremiah Kent. Steiert’s third period near fall and 2:38 of riding time gave UNI (2-3, 2-1) bonus points and a 13-10 lead it didn’t relinquish.
“It’s certainly momentum, (but) I just think you got guys that compete in a way that I think is exciting, but also just that they keep coming forward, man,” Schwab said. “Guys are wrestling hard and that’s what we ask. We’ve just got to continue to get their skills better and just keep them sharp mentally.”
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No. 5 Taylor Lujan’s five takedowns of Cordell Duhart at 184 kept the senior’s dual record unblemished.
No. 12 Carter Isley secured the win for UNI with an 11-1 major decision over Rodrigo Diaz.
Jay Schwarm and Michael Blockhus had the Panthers’ only two wins before intermission. The duo used 3:35 and 2:19 of riding time for 3-0 and 5-1 wins respectively.
UNI travels to Northern Colorado (1-3, 1-1) next Friday for its first Big 12 road dual at 7 p.m.