Top Ranked Cowboys Rout Second Ranked Gophers 25 12

By Josh Maxson | Jan. 08, 2001, 12 a.m. (ET)
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Oklahoma State's top-ranked wrestling team left no doubt in the minds of the college wrestling world who was No. 1 following an overpowering 25-12 win over second-ranked Minnesota in front of 9,565 spectators at the Williams Arena. "It was a good win," said head coach John Smith. "When you are in an environment like it was today, with almost 10,000 fans, it feels great to go home with a win." Smith¹s Cowboys improve to 7-0 on the season, while Minnesota falls to 5-1. What figured to be a marquee matchup at 184 pounds turned into a rout. OSU's No. 3-ranked Daniel Cormier controlled the Gophers' fourth-ranked redshirt freshman, Damion Hahn, picking up a 19-7 major decision. Cormier just missed a pin at the end of the second period and then notched four third-period takedowns. Cormier's win gave the Cowboys a 10-9 lead they would never relinquish. The Pokes preceded to shut the door as second-ranked 197-pounder Mark Muñoz pinned unranked Eli Ross in 5:30 and heavyweight James Huml pinned Mike Flanagan in 2:24. "When it got to those upper weights, we put the hammer down, and we need to put the hammer down," said Smith. "They've got two starters out (197 and 285), we know that, and obviously it's probably an indication in the score. But that¹s the way it goes, and we came in here and got it done." To top it off, the Cowboys 11th-ranked 125-pounder, Matt Brown, pulled the upset of the day. Brown beat third-ranked Leroy Vega 4-3. "I'm very proud of Matt Brown," said Smith. "He had a little cut over his eye, and he came over to the side and said he was going to get it done and he did. It was a wonderful effort from him, and this should definitely give him some confidence." The battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 began at 141 pounds, where Cowboys¹ coach John Smith sent 133-pounder Johnny Thompson out against Minnesota¹s sixth-ranked Chad Erikson. The second-ranked Golden Gophers jumped out to a 3-0 lead as Erikson decisioned Thompson 13-7. The loss was the first of Thompson¹s career, he is now 16-1 on the season and 29-1 in his career. Two of the top-ranked 149-pounders in the country faced off as No. 2-ranked Reggie Wright scored a last-second takedown to secure a 9-6 win over the Golden Gophers' No. 3 Jared Lawrence. OSU suffered back-to-back tough losses at 157 and 165 pounds. At 157 pounds, the Pokes' Shane Roller gave up a late takedown and lost 5-4 to fifth-ranked Luke Becker. Minnesota¹s third-ranked 165-pounder, Brad Pike, never let OSU's Ty Wilcox get a lead and held on for a 4-3 win. Minnesota led in the team score 9-3 at this point. Oklahoma State's 13th-ranked redshirt freshman, Tyrone Lewis, dominated Minnesota¹s 14th-ranked 174-pounder Matt Kraft. The Minnesota junior never could figure Lewis out, surrendering four takedowns in a 9-4 Lewis win. When the match was out of reach for Minnesota, OSU let one slip away. The Pokes' fourth-ranked Charles Walker, leading 6-5, gave up a takedown with two seconds remaining in the match and fell to No. 3 Brett Lawrence 7-6. OSU returns to action next Sunday at 2 p.m., looking to avenge last season's loss as 11th-ranked Michigan State ventures to Gallagher-Iba Arena.