No. 11 Oklahoma State beats No. 8 Missouri in tie-breaker, 17-16 in Stillwater
by Oklahoma State Athletics
Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics.
STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State wrestling team defeated its second top-10 opponent in a row with a 17-16 win over No. 8 Missouri Sunday that came to the third tiebreaker criteria of total match points scored.
With both teams winning five matches, four by decision and a major decision by Missouri's Keegan O'Toole and OSU's Daton Fix, the match was decided based on the third criteria of match points, which Oklahoma State outscored Missouri, 45-43.
"I'll just say I'm sure glad we got Daton when we needed to win by 10 points at the end," head coach John Smith said. "Probably not his greatest match, but a lot of awareness. I mean that first period was big time, being able to pick up two takedowns and near fall points. 149 and 141, Good efforts with a nice, tough win (at 141). Lost a tight one there at 149. I think the only matches that were really separated was 165 and 133. The rest of them were barnburners that came down to the third period and end of the match. Good job for Surber being aware of where he was at. Attacking [Rocky Elam] in some positions that he needed to attack him in. Hopefully he'll kind of grow from this and make a run at some things, like All-American honors, those type of things when you have nice victories like this."
Oklahoma State entered the dual as the underdog in seven of the 10 individual bouts, but were able to pull off three upsets against the higher-ranked Tigers, including Luke Surber's win over No. 1 Rocky Elam, 5-3. Surber opened the scoring with a takedown in the first and after a quick escape and take down for Elam, Surber reversed the Tiger with second left in the period to take a 4-3 lead. Both wrestlers scored an escape in the following two periods leading to a 5-4 decision for Surber, marking the first win over a top-ranked wrestler for a Cowboy since the 2021 NCAA Championships.
"I just think for him at [197 pounds] he needs to continue to build confidence. He needs to continue to step out and recognize that you want to wrestle for seven minutes and you want to compete for seven minutes," Smith said. "Embrace the seven minutes. Literally embrace it. Look to wear people out. Look to exhaust people. I think he's still learning how to do that. The outcome didn't look good after we lost at 174. Even with Wittlake's win, you're still looking at their 197 ranked No. 1 and heavyweight ranked No. 8. Somebody had to win something there quickly annd Surber did that."
Carter Young and Kaden Gfeller also defeated Tigers ranked in the top 10. Young opened the dual with a 4-2 win over No. 7 Allan Hart behind a takedown in the second, a third-period escape and over two minutes of riding time. After Victor Voinovich lost by decision to No. 7 Brock Mauller, Gfeller earned his second top-10 win of the season with a third-period reversal and ride out en route to a 4-3 win over No. 8 Jarrett Jacques.
The match would go back and forth from there as Missouri took a 10-6 lead with a major decision from top-ranked O'Toole at 165 pounds and a decision from No. 10 Peyton Mocco at 174. Travis Wittlake brought the Pokes within one with a 6-4 decision over No. 26 Colton Hawks before Surber put OSU ahead again. The Tigers would take decisions at heavyweight and 125 to regain a 16-12 lead before the final match.
Going into the 133-pound bout, Missouri led the total points tiebreaker by nine over Oklahoma State, meaning Daton Fix would need at least a major decision and to win by 10 points to clinch the dual for the Pokes. Fix built a 6-1 lead in the first period and continued to pour it on racking up five takedowns on his way to a 14-3 major decision over No. 26 Connor Brown.
"I did (know the score needed) about midway through the first period after the review. [The coaches] told me I needed to win by 10. It's just my job. I think that's a big reason we started at 141 today so if it came down to it, I was at the end. If I needed to get bonus points then I would have a good chance to do it. That's just my job to go out there and do what my team needed me to do and get the job done."
Coming off of wins over No. 6 Michigan and No. 8 Missouri, Oklahoma State will be on the road to take on No. 17 South Dakota State on Friday before hosting Stanford on Sunday.
No. 11 Oklahoma State 17, No. 8 Missouri 16
Feb. 5, 2023 I Gallagher-Iba Arena I Stillwater, Okla.
141: No. 22 Carter Young (OSU) dec. No. 7 Allan Hart (MIZZ), 4-2
149: No. 7 Brock Mauller (MIZZ) dec. No. 20 Victor Voinovich (OSU), 3-2
157: No. 14 Kaden Gfeller (OSU) dec. No. 8 Jarrett Jacques, 4-3
165: No. 1 Keegan O'Toole (MIZZ) MD No. 24 Wyatt Sheets (OSU), 14-4
174: No. 10 Peyton Mocco (MIZZ) dec. No. 6 Dustin Plott (OSU), 4-3
184: No. 11 Travis Wittlake (OSU) dec. No. 26 Colton Hawks (MIZZ), 6-04
197: No. 19 Luke Surber (OSU) dec. No. 1 Rocky Elam (MIZZ), 5-4
HWT: No. 8 Zach Elam (MIZZ) dec. No. 24 Konner Doucet (OSU), 4-2
125: No. 14 Noah Surtin (MIZZ) dec. Reece Witcraft (OSU), 2-1
133: No. 2 Daton Fix (OSU) MD No. 26 Connor Brown (MIZZ), 14-3
*Oklahoma State won on criteria via total points scored in matches, 45-43.