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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team won four straight matches to erase a 14-6 deficit and defeat No. 7 Ohio State, 18-14, on Sunday afternoon in front of 6,558 fans at St. John Arena.
“It came down to the wire and it came down to us or them,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “We won six, but they had a guy score big bonus points. We want to score points the entire match. We want to put points on the board.”
The Hawkeyes were quiet through the first three and two-thirds matches. Thomas Gilman used an escape in the first tiebreak to defeat ninth-ranked Nathan Tomasello, 2-1, at 125, but Cory Clark ran out of time in a 7-5 loss at 133, and Josh Dziewa was blanked, 15-0, at 141.
Brandon Sorensen didn’t fare much better through two periods at 149, but the redshirt freshman scored three takedowns in the final frame to erase a 5-2 deficit and defeat All-American Hunter Stieber, 9-7.
“I kept going to my attacks and I kept coming after him,” said Sorensen. “In the first period I needed to finish through shots and score, but in the third period I did finish and I kept coming. I kept coming and that was the difference.”
Michael Kelly forced the action throughout the match, at 157, but he lost a leg in the third period and gave up a takedown as time expired, falling 5-2 and giving Ohio State an 11-6 lead at intermission.
The Buckeyes then grabbed their largest lead of the afternoon when No. 9 Bo Jordan defeated No. 7 Nick Moore, 9-2.
Trailing 14-6, Iowa’s final four went to work.
Evans chipped into the Ohio State lead in a match emblematic of the dual. He started slow, allowing a takedown in the opening period, but he scored the final five points, a takedown in the second and a reversal in the third to win, 5-2.
Sammy Brooks then cut the lead to 14-12, recording Iowa’s only first-period takedown of the dual and holding on for a 3-2 win.
Iowa grabbed the lead for good when Burak shed his redshirt and defeated seventh-ranked Kyle Snyder, 2-1, at 197. The match was scoreless after one period, but Snyder needed injury time between periods allowing Burak to start on bottom. Snyder piled up over a minute of riding time in the second, but Burak escaped to grab a 1-0 lead. Snyder started neutral and awarded Burak an escape to start the third, but the wrestlers went another two minutes without scoring and Burak held on for the decision.
“I’m not happy with the how I wrestled,” said Burak. “I’m glad I got the victory. I’ve lost to him before so it kind of got a monkey off my back, but I didn’t wrestle how I know I can wrestle.”
Iowa led 15-14 when third-ranked Bobby Telford sealed the comeback with a 4-0 decision against tenth-ranked Nick Tavenello at 285.
“This team better score some first period takedowns,” said Brands. “If you look at where we are and what our ability is, and what I know it is, and what 6,000 people saw… they didn’t see a team that attacks very well in the first period. We need to do that. That is going to be the difference.”
Iowa (7-0, 3-0) concluded a seven-day road trip with a Midlands team title, four individual Midlands champions, and a 2-0 mark in Big Ten duals. The Hawkeyes return to action Jan. 11 at Oklahoma State. The dual begins at 2 p.m. (CT).
NOTES — Attendance was 6,558… Burak made his season debut wrestling attached… Clark’s loss was his first of the season, and his first career loss in Big Ten duals… All-Americans Burak (10-0), Evans (16-0) and Telford (16-0) are undefeated on the season.
#1 IOWA 18, #7 Ohio State 14
125 — #4 Thomas Gilman (IOWA) dec. #8 Nathan Tomasello (OSU), 2-1 TB1; 3-0
133 — #9 Johnni DiJulius (OSU) dec. #4 Cory Clark (IOWA), 7-5; 3-3
141 — #1 Logan Stieber (OSU) tech. fall #6 Josh Dziewa (IOWA), 15-0; 3-8
149 — #10 Brandon Sorensen (IOWA) dec. #5 Hunter Stieber (OSU), 9-7; 6-8
157 — #6 Josh Demas (OSU) dec. Michael Kelly (IOWA), 5-2; 6-11
165 — #9 Bo Jordan (OSU) dec. #7 Nick Moore (IOWA), 9-2; 6-14
174 — #3 Mike Evans (IOWA) dec. #12 Mark Martin (OSU), 5-2; 9-12
184 — #8 Sammy Brooks (IOWA) dec. #12 Kenny Courts (OSU), 3-2; 12-14
197 — #6 Nathan Burak (IOWA) dec. #7 Kyle Snyder (OSU), 2-1; 15-14
285 — #3 Bobby Telford (IOWA) dec. #10 Nick Tavanello (OSU), 4-0; 18-14