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|Top-ranked Oklahoma State set to battle No. 2 Minnesota|
By Chris Matthews Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State's wrestling team heads north to wrestle the third-ranked Minnesota Gophers on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Minneapolis.
OSU leads the all-time series 16-9, but the recent history has been with Minnesota as the Gophers have won seven of the last 10 meetings, including twice last year. Minnesota defeated OSU in the finals of the National Duals, followed by a victory in the Ford Center in the ESPNU Doublesport Wrestling Invitational. The Cowboys had the last laugh as OSU bested the runner-up Gophers by nearly 40 points at the NCAA Championships.
The Cowboys' last victory came in Minneapolis in the 2004-05 season. OSU won that dual 28-10. The trend in the series has been for the road team as neither team has won at home since the 1996-97 season when OSU had a 26-10 triumph in Stillwater. The dual will be broadcast live on HOT 93.7 FM with Rex Holt and Roger Moore providing the commentary.
Last Time Out
Oklahoma State needed a decision by heavyweight Jared Rosholt to hold off ninth-ranked Oklahoma in the first Bedlam match of the year, 17-15.
The two teams each won five matches with the difference being OSU's major decisions from juniors Coleman Scott and Nathan Morgan at 133 and 141, respectively.
The swing match was at 184 where OSU's Jack Jensen met OU's Josh Hinton.
OU could have all but clinched the dual with fifth-ranked Joel Flaggert waiting at 197. Jensen pushed the action and scored the first takedown and then enjoyed a second period ride to earn a decision and put the Cowboys back on top.
Flaggert won by a decision at 197 to give OU a 15-14 lead in the dual heading into the heavyweight match. In the final match, Rosholt put on a tough ride in the second period, and he scored the only takedown in the third to clinch the dual with a 5-0 decision. Johny Hendricks also won his 100th career match at 165.
Scouting the Gophers
Minnesota was picked by many to end Oklahoma State's national title run this season, but after the top-ranked Gophers inexplicably lost to Hofstra, the Cowboys return to the top spot in the rankings and Minnesota comes in ranked third according to the NWCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll.
Minnesota boasts a deep lineup with six guys ranked in the top 10. The Gophers have two other starters who would be ranked as high that are both out with injury. Defending national champions Dustin Schlatter and Cole Konrad lead the way for the 4-1 Gophers. Roger Kish is ranked second at 184 after a runner-up finish last season. Jayson Ness comes in ranked eighth at 125, Manuel Rivera is seventh at 141 and Gabriel Dretsch is eighth at 174.
Last time vs. Minnesota
The match once again came down to heavyweight with the dual tied at 16.
Both Steve Mocco and Cole Konrad had an escape to send the match into overtime. In the sudden victory period, Mocco took a shot and Konrad spun behind for the dual clinching takedown.
The Cowboys had key victories from Nathan Morgan over fifth-ranked Mack Reiter and Brandon Mason over 10th-ranked Gabe Dretsch to put OSU in a position to win the dual. It took a major decision from Jake Rosholt to tie the match and force a showdown at heavyweight.
Konrad had the upper hand against Mocco for the second time in 2006. It was Minnesota's second straight victory over the Cowboys and seventh in 10 tries.
#1 Minnesota 19, #2 Oklahoma State 16
Ford Center - Oklahoma City, Okla. - Attendance: 4,110
125- #6 Coleman Scott (OSU) Dec. Travis Lang (UMN), 12-5
133- #3 Nathan Morgan (OSU) Dec. #5 Mack Reiter (UMN), 2-1
141- Manuel Rivera (UMN) Fall Justin Porter (OSU), 6:23
149- #1 Dustin Schlatter (UMN) MD #3 Zack Esposito (OSU), 11-2
157- #6 C.P. Schlatter (UMN) Dec. #16 Kevin Ward (OSU), 7-3
165- #1 Johny Hendricks (OSU) Dec. #7 Matt Nagel (UMN), 3-1
174- #11 Brandon Mason (OSU) Dec. #10 Gabriel Dretsch (UMN), 3-1
184- #7 Roger Kish (UMN) Dec. Rusty Blackmon (OSU), 5-1
197- #3 Jake Rosholt (OSU) MD Mitch Kuhlman (UMN), 14-2
285- #1 Cole Konrad (UMN) Dec. #2 Steve Mocco (OSU), 3-1 SV
Oklahoma State has claimed the last four NCAA team titles and three of the last four NWCA National Duals titles. Over that four-year span the Cowboys have compiled a 74-4 dual record. OSU has put together a 111-8 record since the 2000-01 season. Minnesota has been the one team that has been a thorn in the side for the Cowboys. Minnesota has handed OSU five of its eight losses since the 2000-01 season, and it has defeated the Cowboys three times during its current championship run, including twice last year.
Hendricks Reaches the Century Mark
Senior Johny Hendricks became the 26th member of the 100-win club when he defeated Oklahoma's Shane Seibert, 7-4, on Dec. 3, 2006. He is currently 7-0 on the season and boasts a career record of 100-12. He needs just eight victories to tie Kirk Mammen for 20th on the all-time wins list.
Ryan Freeman Making the Most of the Opportunity
Oklahoma State fans have been spoiled watching Zack Esposito at 149.
Following Esposito's graduation, the Cowboys were set with junior B.J.
Jackson, but fellow junior Ryan Freeman eyed an opening and dropped down to 149 to contend for the spot. After Jackson suffered a knee injury in his opening bout against California-Davis, Freeman was inserted into the lineup.
He took advantage as he won his first match against Michigan State by an easy score of 10-4. Freeman lost to second-ranked Matt Storniolo by a 7-0 decision and he faces top-ranked Dustin Schlatter on Wednesday.