Evans' Victory Sparks Hawkeyes

Jan. 5, 2013

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — After seven minutes of 174-pound wrestling action Friday, Ohio State’s No. 2 ranked and undefeated Nick Heflin unsnapped his headgear and rotated it sideways on his head, a celebratory gesture after a win.

There was a major hiccup in that routine. Heflin was unaware that 15 seconds earlier, his opponent, University of Iowa sparkplug Mike Evans was awarded a stalling point that tied the match, 4-4. Evans hustled to the center and shook his head side-to-side, letting Heflin know that his belief of victory was premature.

“I was like, `This match is not over,'” Evans said. “He wanted it to be done.”

Forty seconds into overtime, Evans found himself in a similar over-under position that allowed Heflin to take a first-period lead. But this time it felt different to Evans; Heflin was laboring.

“The second time I was a little more cautious, I kept my hips down more,” Evans said. “I was more confident in that position because you could tell he wanted the match to be over. It was more of a desperation attempt in my eyes. As the match went on, his offense started to decline, so he wanted to lock up and get somewhere where he had success before. That’s what he did, and he lost the flip.”

Evans threw Heflin to his back for a five-point move, winning 9-4, improving to 8-0 on the season, and sending a Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd of 8,687 into frenzy. The result put three crucial team points on the scoreboard for the Hawkeyes, but UI head coach Tom Brands wanted three more.

“I’ll give guys like Mike Evans (credit), he went for the hold,” Brands said. “There should have been (three) more points on the board for us. You cannot give a guy a grace period in overtime when you put him on his back. He is either pinned or he is not.”

Evans improved to 34-8 in his career and is now 6-0 competing at 174 pounds. He was 26-8 and the Big Ten Conference runner-up last season at 165 pounds. Evans said a similar win for him came last season when he flattened Minnesota’s Cody Yohn at home.

“The only thing comparable is when I pinned Yohn last year and that’s just because it was fuller crowd,” Evans said.

The upset win by seventh-ranked Evans gave Iowa a 16-6 lead in a dual the No. 5 Hawkeyes won, 22-9, against No. 4 Ohio State.

Iowa returns to Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Jan. 6, against No. 21 Purdue. Action begins at 5:05 p.m. (CT).