Carver Hawkeye Arena had plenty of magic for both the Men's Basketball and Wrestling teams, but (to steal a phrase from our neighbors to the west) "Carver Magic" couldn't quite overcome #1-ranked Oklahoma State Saturday night, as the Cowboys won the meet 18-14.
The number-one-ranked Cowboys came in having beaten Iowa 5 straight, including a dominating 30-10 performance in Iowa City two years ago. 8,157 fans showed up to watch the dual meet, bringing the arena's single-day attendance to 23,157.
The match began at 174 pounds, with Mark Perry scoring a major decision over Brandon Mason, 13-0. Perry won that match with just a single takedown, coming at 2:22 in the first period. Perry scored a reversal to begin the second period, and rode Mason the entire third period. This marks the first time Perry had won a match against his hometown team.
Iowa's Paul Bradley made his return from an injury to win 2-1 over Rusty Blackmon. True Freshman Dan Erekson wrestled well against #1 ranked and two-time defending champion Jake Rosholt, but was defeated 6-10. Erekson, who the staff was hoping to redshirt this season, wrestled at 197 pounds, in place of Adam Fellers, who had struggled.
In the most highly-anticipated match of the night, Steve Mocco made his return to Iowa, and was greeted with hostility, as expected. Mocco transferred to Oklahoma State, from Iowa, following his sophomore campaign. Mocco scored only two points in the match, an escape to begin the second period and a stall called against Matt Fields. Mocco won the match 2-1.
In what proved to be the deciding match of the night, Iowa's Lucas Magnani took on Coleman Scott at 125 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Magnani scored three in the second.
With less than a minute remaining in the match, Magnani was leading 3-1 and seemed to have Scott in position for another takedown, with Scott's leg elevated above Magnani's shoulders near the edge of the mat. Some nifty footwork and a short scramble enabled Scott to score a takedown on Magnani, bringing the score to 3-3. Scott was able to ride Magnani out, scoring a point on riding time, and taking the match 4-3.
Coming out of the intermission, the team score was 9-7, in favor of Oklahoma State. Freshman Daniel Dennis gave up a takedown and a three point near fall in the first two minutes of the match and never recovered, losing to Nathan Morgan 14-9.
Alex Tsirtsis gave up a near-fall in the first, and went on to lose the match 10-8 to Daniel Frishkorn.
#2 Ty Eustice took on #1 Zach Esposito, who he had never defeated. Eustice entered the third period down 0-2 in the match. An escape at 1:56 brought the score to 1-2. A stall warning and subsequent stall call on Esposito tied the match at 2.
With only 34 seconds left in the match, Eustice scored a takedown on the defending champ, and rode him out to win the match 4-2. The cheer and subsequent ovations Eustice received following that match were the highlight of the night.
Joe Johnston fell behind 0-2 early in this match against Kevin Ward from OSU, but soon took over, scoring a major decision 25-11 to bring the score to 14-15 in favor of Oklahoma State leading into the final match of the night. According to the scoring summary, provided by the University of Iowa, Johnston lead the match 25-10 with :10 left in the 3rd period, but was not awarded a technical fall, with Ward escaping 5 seconds later, leading it being scored as a major decision.
In the final match of the night, Junior Eric Luedke lost 4-10 to defending National Champion Johnny Hendricks, bringing the meet to a close.
Final team score: Iowa 14, Oklahoma State 18.
- Personally, I have never heard a louder moment at a sporting event than what I heard when Ty Eustice scored his only takedown against Zach Esposito. That includes Kinnick Stadium, that includes ‘The Catch', that includes Iowa's victory over Illinois 5 hours earlier, as well as 100,000 screaming Buckeye fans at the Shoe.
- Oklahoma State's 18 points came 3 at a time, no bonus points were scored by the Cowboys. Following the meet, Head Coach John Smith was asked about when the last time that happened. "I don't know. I don't think I want to know," was his response.