John Klein: Iowa and OSU in another classic battle
BY JOHN KLEIN Senior Sports Columnist
Monday, January 14, 2013
1/14/13 at 6:09 AM
Go to John Klein's Blog Original Print Headline: Iowa, OSU always are a top show on the mat
STILLWATER - It is pretty hard to top an Oklahoma State-Iowa wrestling match.
These are really tough guys at traditionally the best college wrestling schools in the nation who simply do not like each other.
A year ago, No. 2 OSU toppled No. 1 Iowa, 17-16, ending the Hawkeyes' 84-match streak without a loss.
"These are always tough matches," said OSU coach John Smith.
Oklahoma State won again Sunday, overcoming a 12-3 deficit by winning the final five matches for an 18-12 decision at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
OSU is ranked No. 2, Iowa is ranked No. 3.
"I'm fired up right now because I really think this will help us get better," said Smith.
The Hawkeyes won four of the first five matches but did not win again after Tyler Caldwell scored a 3-2 decision for OSU at 165 pounds.
From that point, OSU got victories from top-ranked Chris Perry (174), a mild upset from Chris Chionuma at 184 and expected wins from Blake Rosholt at 197 and Alan Gelogaev at heavyweight.
"I didn't feel good about winning this dual until Chionuma won," said Smith. "But, we still had to go out and win the rest of the matches. You still have to go out and earn it. It is Iowa. It is a tough match."
However, Smith was not overly pleased. Nor was Iowa coach Tom Brands.
"Sure, I'm always proud of a win in this dual," said Smith. "But, we can really get better from this. We've got time to see our mistakes and we've got time to correct our mistakes.
"I think when we look at this tape we will see a lot of things we can point toward and improve."
It was a typical, close, hard-fought match between these old and bitter rivals.
"In these kind of duals, a lot of the matches come down to scoring in the third period," said Smith. "That's what we did. We got some takedowns late that made the difference."
There certainly didn't appear to be much difference between these two teams.
Chionuma, Rosholt and Gelogaev all scored late to win their matches.
"That's great, but the bigger question for these guys is where are you going from here," said Smith.
There were no bonus points for either team. OSU won six of the 10 matches.
Both the Cowboys and Hawks had probably expected some bonus points.
"We had some matches when we got the lead and we went on to solid wins," said Smith. "Neither team seemed to open up much.
"I'd like to see us do more, but maybe this is where we are right now. It is kind of where we both are right now."
The matches that were expected to be lopsided turned out to be very competitive.
"That helps the team and helps you win the dual," said Smith. "You need that. You need your guys to not give up those extra points to help your team."
The Cowboys (34) and Hawkeyes (23) have won 57 NCAA wrestling championships.
While Penn State remains the current No. 1 team in the country, it doesn't diminish any match that involves OSU and Iowa.
Seventeen of the 20 wrestlers in the dual are ranked in their weight classes.
That includes four of the nation's top-ranked wrestlers in Jordan Oliver (149) and Perry (174) of Oklahoma State and Matt McDonough (125) and Derek St. John (157) of Iowa.
All four of the top-ranked wrestlers won as expected. McDonough and St. John helped stake Iowa to its 12-3 lead halfway through the dual. It was expected McDonough might get bonus points with a big victory or fall. Instead, he settled for a 9-4 victory, while St. John won 8-4.
The only win for the Cowboys in the first half of the dual came from Oliver, who cruised to an easy 10-4 victory.
A tight match at 165 pounds brought both coaches to the mat to argue over a late call. Caldwell got a takedown with 20 seconds left for his 3-2 victory that gave OSU some life, trimming the Iowa lead to 12-6.
"It was a classic match with a lot of tight battles," said Smith.
Oklahoma State wrestler Chris Chionuma celebrates his 3-2 victory over Iowa's Ethen Lofthouse in the 184-pound weight class Sunday in Stillwater. KT KING / For the Tulsa World
Oklahoma State’s Blake Rosholt (top) wrestles Iowa’s Nathan Burak during Rosholt’s 3-2 decision in the 197-pound weight class Sunday in Stillwater. KT KING / For the Tulsa World