Hawkeye Wrestlers Top Nebraska, But No. 1 St. John Upset
From Hawkeye Sports
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The University of Iowa wrestling team won seven of 10 bouts to defeat Nebraska, 22-9, on Saturday at the Devaney Center. The win was Iowa's seventh straight in the series.
Thomas Gilman, Tony Ramos, and Josh Dziewa spotted Iowa a 10-0 lead with two wins and a major decision, but Nebraska kept things close with three wins in matches that featured ranked opponents.
It was a stretch that got UI head coach Tom Brands' attention.
"Those three matches - 149, 157, 174 - the whole country, or anyone paying attention to this dual meet, is talking about it, and we went 0-for-3," said Brands. "We won seven matches. I do not feel like we won seven matches. We left two major decisions off the board, but you have to keep moving forward."
Gilman used a point for riding time to defeat No. 9 Tim Lambert, 2-1, at 125. Ramos scored five takedowns to record his team-best fifth major decision, 15-4, at 133, and Dziewa used two takedowns and two near-fall points to win 9-2 at 141.
Nebraska (8-1, 2-1) closed to within 10-6 before intermission with a pair of wins at 149 and 157. Fifth-ranked Jake Sueflohn defeated No. 13 Brody Grothus, 5-2, at 149, and third-ranked James Green ended Derek St. John's 27-match win streak with a 9-7 win at 157.
Nick Moore used three takedowns to win 8-2 at 165, but fourth-ranked Robert Kokesh closed the gap with a 7-3 win over No. 6 Mike Evans at 174.
After Nebraska pulled to within 13-9, freshman Sammy Brooks swung the momentum back toward the Hawkeyes when he finished a single-leg with 17 seconds into the sudden-victory period to defeat No. 11 T.J. Dudley, 6-4, at 184.
"We knew if I kept the pressure on him his level would go down, so I just tried to keep my pace as high as I could, even if I wasn't feeling good," said Brooks. "You just push through and wrestle hard."
Brooks wasn't able to finish a number of shots in the first and second periods, but eventually caught Dudley on the edge and grabbed a 4-3 lead with 37 seconds left in the third. Dudley escaped to force overtime, but Brooks went right back to the leg, ending the match and earning his second straight win over a rated opponent.
"He is an athlete," said Brooks. "He can explode out and (avoid) the takedown, so you have to get ready. Ideally you don't even let that happen. You pick him up and put him down hard and get the takedown, but in a match like this it's going to take more than one attempt."
Brooks' win extended Iowa's lead to 16-9, and Nathan Burak (197) and Bobby Telford (285) closed with a pair of decisions for the final 22-9 score.
Third-ranked Iowa (11-1, 4-0) returns to the mat Saturday, Jan. 25 when No. 2 Minnesota visits Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are available through the UI Athletic Ticket Office over the phone at 1-800-IA-HAWKS or online at hawkeyesports.com. The dual will be televised on BTN.
"We have to get ready again. We have one dual this week and one dual meet the next week, and we have to put a lineup out there that is going to score," added Brands. "We have to use the whole clock. The whole seven minutes."
Notes: Attendance was 3,946... Iowa won its seventh straight in the series... Thomas Gilman improved to 5-1 against ranked opponents... Ramos earned his fifth major decision of the season... St. John's winning streak was stopped at 27, a career long... Sammy Brooks won his third in a row and second straight against ranked opponents.