No. 2 Hawkeyes Pull Away from No. 11 Illini

Jan. 8, 2016


CHAMPAIGN, Illinois — The University of Iowa wrestling team strung together four straight wins to close out No. 11 Illinois, 26-12, Friday night at Huff Hall.

The second-ranked Hawkeyes (9-0, 3-0) and Illini (8-2, 1-2) split the first six matches and were tied 12-12 before 10th-ranked Alex Meyer put Iowa ahead for good with a 24-9 technical fall at 174. Meyer, who had scored 20 combined points over his last five matches, put together an offensive barrage of 11 takedowns to complement 3:20 of riding time.


“I was focused and concentrated through the whole match,” said Meyer. “I had my hands where I needed to be, but it can still be better and it will be better. It needs to be better.”

Meyer’s match was one of three that ended in bonus points for the Hawkeyes.

Second-ranked Thomas Gilman opened the dual with a 22-5 technical fall at 125, and second-ranked Brandon Sorensen recorded his team-best fifth major decision in a 16-4 win at 149.

Gilman turned a headlock into back points three seconds into the dual at 125, and he terminated the match by landing a cow-catcher at the end of the period leading 22-5.

“Once I hit the headlock I thought I had him stuck, but he was long and Gumby and I haven’t felt a bridge like that since middle school,” Gilman said. “I thought I’d have time to work on a fall in the second period, but I hit the cow-catcher at the end of the first and knew I had the tech.”

Sorensen scored his first takedown 1:11 into the match, and his sixth and final takedown with five seconds left in the match. He added 3:42 of riding time to improve to 15-0.

Iowa won seven matches total, getting decisions at 141, 184, 197, and 285.

Topher Carton earned his first career Big Ten road win with a 5-4 decision at 141. The wrestlers traded takedowns in the first two periods before Carton earned the decisive point when Brock Ervin was called for stalling in the final minute.

Eight-ranked Sammy Brooks fought off a late shot and countered with two of his own to finish a 6-1 win against 16th-ranked Jeff Koepke at 184. Brooks is now 4-1 against ranked opponents.

Third-ranked Nathan Burak used five takedowns to remain undefeated with a 13-6 decision at 197, and eighth-ranked Sam Stoll escaped in the second period and rode 19th-ranked Brooks Black in the third to earn a 2-0 win at 285.

Illinois record three wins, including an overtime decision at 133, technical fall at 157, and major decision at 165.

Seventh-ranked Zane Richards circled around second-ranked Cory Clark 17 seconds into overtime to win, 5-3. Illinois’ top-ranked Isaiah Martinez remained undefeated with a 21-5 technical fall over No. 16 Edwin Cooper, Jr. at 157, and seventh-ranked Steven Rodriguez scored a takedown in the final seconds to secure a 12-4 major decision against Patrick Rhoads at 165.

“We want to be more aware,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “There is a lot of season left and a lot glaring mistakes. It seemed like we were wasting a lot of time and giving points away at the edge or end of the period and situations where we don’t have to do that. There are good things and bad things that we did, and we have to be able to pick it up when things weren’t going our way.”

Iowa returns to the mat Sunday in Evanston, Illinois. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats meet at 2 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

NOTES: Attendance was 1,451… Gilman improved to 13-0 with 11 wins by bonus points… Carton is 2-1 all-time in Big Ten duals, tonight was his first career road win… Meyer’s technical fall was his first of the season… Burak has won 13 straight, matching his career high.

#2 Iowa 26, #11 Illinois 12
125 — #2 Thomas Gilman (IA) tech. fall Francis Edelen (ILL), 22-5; 5-0
133 — #7 Zane Richards (ILL) dec. #2 Cory Clark (IA); 5-3 SV; 5-3
141 — Topher Carton (IA) dec. Brock Ervin (ILL), 5-4; 8-3
149 — #2 Brandon Sorensen (IA) major dec. Kyle Langenderfer (ILL), 16-4; 12-3
157 — #1 Isaiah Martinez (ILL) tech. fall #16 Edwin Cooper, Jr. (IA), 21-5; 12-8
165 — #7 Steven Rodriguez (ILL) major dec. Patrick Rhoads (IA), 12-4; 12-12
174 — #10 Alex Meyer (IA) tech. fall Isaac Reinemann (ILL), 24-9; 17-12
184 — #8 Sammy Brooks (IA) dec. #16 Jeff Koepke (ILL), 6-1; 20-12
197 — #3 Nathan Burak (IA) dec. Andre Lee (ILL), 13-6; 23-12
285 — #8 Sam Stoll (IA) dec. #19 Brooks Black (ILL), 2-0; 26-12

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