Wrestlers Topple Mizzou in Dual

<b>COLUMBIA, Mo. --</b> Iowa State's second-rated 184-pounder Kurt Backes major decisioned 12th-ranked Matt Pell, avenging a loss from last season to lift the No. 2 ISU wrestlers to a 18-15 win over No. 17 Missouri Sunday in the Hearnes Center.

Iowa State trailed 15-14 heading into the 184-finale but Backes dominated Pell in an 11-2 victory to push the Cyclones to 16-1 in dual competition. Missouri is now 13-6. Backes had lost an 8-7 decision to Pell last season. Sunday's win improves Backes' record to 23-2. Pell is 29-6.

"Our conditioning really paid off today," Iowa State head coach Bobby Douglas said. We wrestled real well. Backes majored a guy he had lost to last season on the opponent's mat. He gets the game ball today."

Bonus points were the difference as Grant Nakamura and Nate Gallick added major decision wins at 125 and 141 pounds respectively. Nakamura, ranked 11th nationally, improved to 9-5 with a 12-2 win over Tim Kephart. Gallick, the nation's top-rated 141-pounder, scored a 15-5 major decision win over Chris McCormick to improve to 22-0.

In battles pitting ranked foes, ISU 157-pounder Trent Paulson, ranked fifth nationally, improved to 26-1 with an 8-2 win over 17th-ranked Brad Cieleski. Missouri's eighth-rated Tyron Woodley upended fifth-ranked Cyclone Travis Paulson, 6-2. Second-rated Tiger 174-pounder Ben Askren beat No. 13 Nick Passolano, 8-2. At 197-pounds, No. 20 Jeff Foust of Missouri edged No. 19 Trevor Smith of Iowa State, 6-5.

Iowa State closes out the dual season Feb. 19 at Nebraska.


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