The beginning of the Iowa-Oklahoma State annual wrestling dual started about as well as the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes could have hoped.
It was the final five matches that the Hawkeyes couldn’t recover from as second-ranked Oklahoma State won the final five matches and handed Iowa its first loss of the season, 18-12, at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.
“Finishing was the difference today,” said head coach Tom Brands. “It was the difference between winning the matches and the meet.”
Of the five straight losses, four were decided by one point and in all four matches, a third-period takedown was needed and gotten by the Cowboys.
Top-ranked Matt McDonough (125), second-ranked Tony Ramos (133) and top-ranked Derek St. John (157) all won decisions to remain undefeated on the season. No. 9 Mark Ballweg also won a decision at 149 as Iowa had a 12-3 lead through the first five matches.
The Cowboys got one-point wins at 165, 174, 184 and 197 to take the lead at 15-12. No. 6 Bobby Telford could have forced a tiebreaker scenario at heavyweight but lost 7-4.
Oklahoma State was favored in all but one of those final five matches. No. 9 Ethen Lofthouse lost 3-2 at 184 against No. 12 Chris Chionuma.
No. 19 Nick Moore lost 3-2 to third-ranked Tyler Caldwell at 165, while Nathan Burak also lost a 3-2 decision at 197 against No. 5 Blake Resholt. The other win by the Cowboys came at 141 when top-ranked Jordan Oliver scored a 9-4 win over Michael Kelly.
The Hawkeyes dropped to 12-1 on the season. They return to the mat Jan. 18 when they face No. 11 Michigan at Ann Arbor, Mich. The dual will begin at 6 p.m. inside Cliff Keen Arena.
Notes: Attendance was 5,537… McDonough extended his winning streak to 38 matches… Ramos’ victory was in his meeting against a ranked opponent this season… McDonough (10-0), Ramos (13-0) and St. John (13-0) remained undefeated this year… Evans’ loss was his first this season (9-1).