Backes, ranked fifth nationally, stopped a Minnesota rally with his 3-1 decision over McLay. With the match tied 1-1in the third period, Backes scored a takedown at the 1:52 mark to hold off McLay and secure his twelfth win of the season, giving ISU a 16-8 advantage.
The Cyclones started the dual winning the first five matches. Sophomore Grant Nakamura got the Cyclones started with his 6-4 decision over Bobbe Lowe at 125 pounds. All-American Zach Roberson followed in similar fashion at 133 pounds with a 6-3 decision over Quincy Osborn. Nate Gallick then responded with a 5-4 decision at 141 pounds over Tommy Owen to push the Cyclones' lead to 9-0. Twins Trent and Travis Paulson, both ranked fifth nationally, kept their unbeaten streak alive with wins at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively. Trent registered a major decision over Thomas McAlpine 11-2 at 149 pounds and Travis followed with an 8-3 decision over Matt Nagel to put Iowa State ahead 16-0.
Minnesota started their comeback with back-to-back major decisions at 165 pounds and 174 pounds. After Backes's decision, Minnesota would not take the lead despite a major decision by first-ranked Damion Hahn at 197 pounds and a pin at heavyweight by Cole Konrad at the 2:52 mark.
Iowa State will next compete December 29-30 at the Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill.
125 -- Grant Nakamura (ISU) dec. Bobbe Lowe (Minn.), 6-4
133 -- Zach Roberson (ISU) dec. Quincy Osborn (Minn.), 6-3
141 -- Nate Gallick (ISU) dec. Tommy Owen (Minn.), 5-4
149 -- Trent Paulson (ISU) major dec. Thomas McAlpine (Minn.), 11-2
157 -- Travis Paulson (ISU) dec. Matt Nagel (Minn.), 8-3
165 -- Jacob Volkmann (Minn.) major dec. Nick Passolano (ISU), 11-2
174 -- Jon Duncombe (Minn.) major dec. Nels Matson (ISU), 13-3
184 -- Kurt Backes (ISU) dec. Josh McLay (Minn.), 3-1
197 -- Damion Hahn (Minn.) major dec.Trevor Smith (ISU), 12-3
HWT -- Cole Konrad (Minn.) pinned Richard Schopf (ISU), 2:52