Jan. 22, 2016
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Six University of Iowa wrestlers scored bonus points to propel the second-ranked Hawkeyes to a 39-4 win over No. 20 Purdue on Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes got two falls, one technical fall, and three major decisions, but the biggest applause of the night came following an otherwise routine 6-0 decision at 141.
Wrestling at 141 pounds in a dual for the first time in his career, senior Brody Grothus defeated 17th-ranked Danny Sabatello in his first Carver-Hawkeye Arena appearance since December 2014. Grothus was an NCAA qualifier at 149 in 2014, but has wrestled just four times since missing the entire 2015 calendar year.
On Friday, he scored a takedown in the first, added an escape and stalling point in the second, and finished a final takedown 25 seconds before leaving the mat to a standing ovation.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve wrestled in front of these fans,” Grothus said. “The fans are special because they give you that little boost. I was in on that third period shot and I have to give some credit to the fans there, I heard them and they pushed me to get that last takedown.”
The Hawkeyes won nine-of-10 bouts overall and have won 50 of a possible 60 matches in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa is now 6-0 in the Big Ten and has outscored their opposition 215-34 in those six wins.
As he’s done all season, Thomas Gilman opened the dual with bonus points at 125. Gilman scored 11 takedowns to win 23-8 and earn his team-best fourth technical fall. In 10 duals at the leadoff spot, Gilman has five pins, four technical falls, and one major decision.
Gilman’s win gave Iowa a 5-0 team lead, and the Hawkeyes stretched it to 15-0 by surrendering just two points (both escapes) from 133-149. Cory Clark won 12-0 at 133, Grothus earned the 6-0 win at 141, and Brandon Sorensen won 8-2 at 149.
Purdue scored a point via technical violation one minute, 54 seconds into the 157-pound match, but 43 seconds later Edwin Cooper, Jr. rolled 15th-ranked Dough Welch to his back to record a first-period fall. That win gave Iowa a 21-0 lead at the break.
“I just need to keep being consistent, keep getting wins, and move to a higher level,” said Cooper. “The season is going well, but I need to keep scoring points and getting better.”
Purdue scored its first takedown of the night with 1:10 left in the first period at 165. Seventh-ranked Chad Welch erased a 2-0 deficit and scored 15 of the final 17 points to defeat Burke Paddock, 15-4.
The Hawkeyes closed the dual with four straight wins, each one better than the next. Alex Meyer improved to 12-0 at home with an 8-4 decision at 174. Sammy Brooks scored a 14-4 major decision at 184. Nathan Burak improved to 16-0 with a 22-7 technical fall at 197, and Sam Stoll finished the evening with his team-best seventh fall.
“I don’t (often) say a whole lot about feeling good about things,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “I really like this team though because they score points. They are trying to score points, and they will need to score points. We will need them at Big Tens, at the NCAAs, and Sunday at Nebraska. We know they’ll be ready and we have got to be ready.”
Iowa returns to the mat Sunday in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Hawkeyes (12-0, 6-0) and 11th-ranked Huskers (9-3, 3-3) meet at 2 p.m. (CT) at the Devaney Sports Center.
NOTES: Attendance was 8,536… Iowa held a 37-4 advantage in takedown… The Hawkeyes are 6-0 in the Big Ten for the sixth time under Tom Brands… Iowa’s returning All-Americans improved to 64-1… Gilman improved to 16-0 with 14 wins by bonus points; his 16-match win streak is a career high… Burak has won a career-best 16 straight matches with 10 wins by bonus points… Sam Stoll recorded his team-best seventh fall… Grothus had not wrestled a Carver-Hawkeye Arena since Dec. 6, 2014 against Michigan State… Meyer (12-0) and Stoll (7-0) are both undefeated at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in their careers.
#2 Iowa 39, #20 Purdue 4