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|Minnesota defeats Oklahoma State, 23-16|
By Tony Kukowski Univ. of Minnesota
The No. 3 University of Minnesota wrestling team sent an early season statement Wednesday night with a 21-15 victory over top-ranked Oklahoma State. The Golden Gophers won three of the final four matches of the night to put the Cowboys away.
Minnesota has now won eight of the last 11 meetings between the two storied programs. The Gophers snapped a streak of eight consecutive duals between the two teams in which the home team was on the losing end. The Maroon and Gold earned its first victory over the Cowboys at home since a 23-16 victory on Feb. 5, 1994.
Jayson Ness got things started for the Gophers with a 6-3 decision over OSU's Tyler Shinn. Ness fell behind midway through the first period after a Shinn takedown, but he came back to tie the match in the second. Ness scored a takedown at 0:55 of the third and earned the bonus point for time advantage to earn the victory.
The Cowboys took a 4-3 lead in the next match after Coleman Scott defeated Mike Thorn by way of major decision, but it was the only lead they would see, as the Gophers stormed back with a major decision and tech fall in the next two matches.
The marquee match-up between No. 5 Manuel Rivera and No. 3 Nathan Morgan did not occur, as Morgan did not make the trip to Minneapolis. Rivera took advantage of the lesser caliber wrestler OSU sent to the mat with a 13-3 major decision over Ethan Kyle.
Top-ranked sophomore Dustin Schlatter followed with his third consecutive shutout, a 15-0 tech fall over Ryan Freeman at 149 pounds. Schlatter scored a takedown just 17 seconds into the match and had three near falls in the first period. Much of the same followed in the second, as he scored another early takedown and earned five back points to end the match at 1:06 of the second period.
Oklahoma State staged a rally to get back into the match, with major decisions at 157 and 165, but a courageous effort by Jeremy Larson against OSU's top-ranked Johny Hendricks prevented the Cowboys from seeing the lead.
With the match tied at 12 following two OSU major decisions, junior Gabriel Dretsch turned the momentum in Minnesota's favor with an emotional victory over No. 8 Brandon Mason. Dretsch scored a takedown lat in the first period and was awarded another point in the second after Mason was warned for stalling twice. Dretsch looked to the crowd of 4,926 fans that packed into the Sports Pavilion for the extra burst of energy, and he was able to prevent Mason from scoring in the third to come away with the 3-1 decision.
Second-ranked Roger Kish gave the crowd more to cheer about with an exciting 13-7 victory over Jack Jensen in the following match. Kish scored two takedowns in each period en route to the win. The crowd was perhaps its loudest of the night following one of Kish's shots in the third in which he rode Jensen off the mat. Kish fed off the crowd, pumping both arms in the air, and he utilized that energy to finish off Jensen.
Oklahoma State cut Minnesota's lead to three after Jared Shelton earned a 9-2 decision over sophomore transfer Yura Malamura, but there was no need to panic as top-ranked heavyweight Cole Konrad stepped onto the mat to face Jared Rosholt. A first period takedown was all Konrad would need to put the Cowboys away, though Rosholt gave him a tough match.
With one big victory in hand, the Gophers will face another tough test on Friday night when they travel to No. 7 Iowa State to face the Cyclones at 8 p.m. Live video of Friday's match will be available in the Gold Zone, the premium content site for Golden Gopher athletics, via the Clone Zone, ISU's premium site.
A replay of tonight's match against Oklahoma State will be available in the Gold Zone following Fox Sports North's tape-delayed broadcast of the match on Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.
#3 Minnesota 21, #1 Oklahoma State 15,
Sports Pavilion * Minneapolis, Minn.
125- #8 Jayson Ness (UMN) Dec. Tyler Shinn (OSU); 6-3
133- #4 Coleman Scott (OSU) Maj. Dec. Mike Thorne (UMN); 10-1
141- #6 Manuel Rivera (UMN) Maj. Dec. Ethan Kyle (OSU); 13-3
149- #1 Dustin Schlatter (UMN) Tech. Fall Ryan Freeman (OSU); 15-0; 4:32
157- Newly McSpadden (OSU) Maj. Dec. Tyler Safratowich (UMN); 11-3
165- #1 Johny Hendricks (OSU) Maj. Dec. Jeremy Larson (UMN); 19-6
174- #11 Gabe Dretsch (UMN) Dec. #16 Brandon Mason (OSU); 3-1
184- #2 Roger Kish (UMN) Dec. Jack Jensen (OSU); 13-7
197- Jared Shelton (OSU) Dec. Yura Malamura (UMN); 9-2
285- #1 Cole Konrad (UMN) Dec. #19 Jared Rosholt (OSU); 3-1