LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The No. 18 ranked Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team captured the final five matches of the night, including three falls by Dakota Friesth at 165 pounds, Shane Woods at 197 and Tanner Harms at 285 to record a convincing 32-10 home win over South Dakota State.
Friday night marked the 100th dual during the seven years that Mark Branch has served as head coach of the Cowboys, and the victory was the 70th dual win for the Pokes during that span.
The win was Wyoming's seventh consecutive dual victory this season and improved the Pokes' dual record to 7-2 overall and 3-0 in the Western Wrestling Conference. South Dakota State fell to 8-7 and 1-1 in the WWC with the loss.
Wyoming began the night with an 8-0 major decision by senior Tyler Cox, who is ranked No. 11 in the country at 125 pounds. That was followed by a 4-1 decision from Cowboy sophomore Drew Templeman at 133 to give Wyoming a 7-0 team lead.
But South Dakota State fought back to win the next three matches. SDSU's Luke Zilverberg posted a 7-5 win over Wyoming's Cole Mendenhall at 141 pounds. Alex Kocer won by a 7-1 score over UW's Jake Elliott at 149, and the Jackrabbits' Cody Pack, who is ranked No. 6 in the nation, recorded a 12-2 major decision over Cowboy Archie Colgan at 157, moving the Jackrabbits into the lead by a team score of 10-7 at intermission.
After the break, it was all Cowboys with senior Friesth winning by fall at the 4:30 mark of the 165-pound match versus John Nething. Friesth entered his match ranked No. 18 in the nation. Fellow senior Andy McCulley, ranked 15th in the country, won a close 5-3 match at 174 pounds to put Wyoming up 16-10. A 14-3 major decision by Wyoming's No. 19 ranked Benjamin Stroh at 184 followed. Senior Woods recorded the quickest fall of the evening only 1:47 into the first period of the 197-pound match over SDSU's Hunter Weddington. Woods entered the match ranked No. 15 in the nation. Cowboy junior Tanner Harms finished off the convincing win with a fall over the Jackrabbits' J.J. Everard 2:17 into the first period.
After the dual, Branch spoke to the media about what he saw from his Cowboy squad. "We need to be more aggressive. Even in some wins I wasn't real happy," said Branch. "Obviously in the losses, I didn't think we wrestled with a lot of emotion. But then we saw some emotion in the second half of the dual, which is nice, and we saw some good performances. Pins are always good, so that got me in a better mood finishing with a couple pins.
"If you could point to two guys, I think Tanner (Harms) came out aggressive against a kid who beat him last year. He came out in the first five seconds and took a nice shot and got the takedown. He was really a hammer on top, and got the pin. The second guy tonight was Drew Templeman. Drew has been right there, trying to break through and tonight he got a good win over a good kid. He's been in several matches like he was today, but he's lost a little discipline and not been able to close it out. Tonight it was good to see him close it out with a solid takedown in the third period.
"There were some good things, but all 10 guys didn't come out and wrestle the way we're supposed to wrestle. We've got to get better, especially before Sunday."
Wyoming returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 1 when they will host WWC rival North Dakota State at Noon in the UniWyo Sports Complex.
125 pounds: #13/11/14 Tyler Cox, major decision over Isaac Andrade (SDSU), 8-0 / Wyoming 4, SDSU 0
133: Drew Templeman, decision over Brance Simms (SDSU), 4-1 / Wyoming 7, SDSU 0
141: Luke Zilverberg (SDSU), decision over Cole Mendenhall, 7-5 / Wyoming 7, SDSU 3
149: Alex Kocer (SDSU), decision over Jake Elliott, 7-1 / Wyoming 7, SDSU 6
157: #7/11/6 Cody Pack (SDSU), major decision over Archie Colgan, 12-2 / Wyoming 7, SDSU 10
165: #20/NR/18 Dakota Friesth, wins by fall (4:30) over John Nething II (SDSU), Fall (4:30) / Wyoming 13, SDSU 10
174: #15/17/17 Andy McCulley, decision over David Kocer (SDSU), 5-3 / Wyoming 16, SDSU 10
184: #19/NR/NR Benjamin Stroh, major decision over Brady Ayers (SDSU), 14-3 / Wyoming 20, SDSU 10
197: #17/18/15 Shane Woods, wins by fall (1:47) over Hunter Weddington (SDSU), Fall (1:47) / Wyoming 26, SDS 10
285: Tanner Harms, wins by fall (2:17) over J.J. Everard (SDSU), Fall (2:17) / Wyoming 32, SDSU 10