LARAMIE, Wyo. -
A slow start handcuffed the No.18 University of Wyoming wrestling team in a 22-21 loss to North Dakota State on Sunday afternoon in the UniWyo Sports Complex. The Cowboys battled back to tie the dual at 21-21 in the final match, but NDSU was awarded a point on criteria for having more pins than Wyoming.
"The positive was our guys did fight back," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "We did things that were uncharacteristic for our guys. A couple guys probably let the emotions of the match get the best of them. I was a little bit surprised we put ourselves back in a position to win it."
The Pokes dropped their first dual since falling to No. 2 Minnesota on Nov. 15, as UW is now 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the Western Wrestling Conference. The Bison moved to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the WWC.
The Bison rushed out to a 12-0 lead with two pins to open the match. NDSU's Mitch Bengston (141 pounds) pinned UW's sophomore Cole Mendenhall at 4:54 of the opening match. The Bison added another pin at 149 pounds with Clay Ream pinning Wyoming's Jake Elliott at 5:50. The two pins played a huge role in the match giving the Bison a criteria point which would come into play after the final match. In the final match, 133 pounder Drew Templeman won by major decision, 10-2, as he tied the dual at 21-21.
"We didn't forsee the match starting by having our first two guys get pinned," Branch said. "But I also didn't necessarily see us coming back with two tech falls right after that. Those first four matches made for a wild start to the dual. We clawed back into it, but when you're wrestling a good time like North Dakota State you can't get off to a start like that."
The Cowboys stormed back taking the next three matches. Redshirt frshman Archie Colgan came out aggressive winning by technical fall at (2:08) over Grant Nehring, 16-0. No. 20 senior Dakota Friesth also added a technical fall picking up a 18-2 victory over Trevour Chavez in 6:12. Senior Andy McCulley ranked No. 15 in the country gave the Pokes the lead with a 4-3 decision over NDSU's Kurtis Julson.
"It was good to see Archie (Colgan) bounce back, because he has been struggling," Branch Said. "For him to come out like that was great to see. We had one cylinder pick up with Archie's win, but then somewhere down the road we lost a different cylinder."
NDSU's Hayden Zillmer, ranked seventh in the nation defeated the Pokes' No. 19 Benjamin Stroh in a 10-4 decision that put the Bison on top 14-13. In the 197 pound match the Pokes retook the lead with No. 15 Shane Woods taking a 12-1 major decision over Tommy Petersen.
After Woods victory the Bison took two straight matches. No. 15 Evan Knutson defeated Tanner Harms with a 6-4 decision. The 125 pound match featured two of the WWC's best in Wyoming No.11 Tyler Cox and NDSU's No.19 Josh Rodriquez. In a bout that went to three overtimes, Rodriquez prevailed with a 9-7 decision that gave NDSU a 21-17 lead.
Wyoming returns to action next Friday heading to Oklahoma to take on Oklahoma at 2 p.m. and No. 7 Oklahoma State at 7 p.m.
141: Mitch Bengston (NDSU), wins by fall (4:54) over Cole Mendenhall, Fall (4:54) / 6-0 NDSU
149: Clay Ream (NDSU), wins by fall (5:50) over Jake Elliott, Fall (5:50) / 12-0 NDSU
157: Archie Colgan, win by technical fall over Grant Nehring (NDSU), 16-0 / 12-5 NDSU
165: #20/NR/18 Dakota Friesth, wins by technical fall over Trevour Chavez (NDSU), 18-2 / 10-12 NDSU
174: #15/17/17 Andy McCulley, Decision over Kurtis Julson (NDSU), 4-1 / 13-12 WYO
184: #9/7/8 Hayden Zillmer (NDSU), Decision over #19/NR/NR Benjamin Stroh, 10-4 / 15-13 NDSU
197: #17/18/15 Shane Woods, major decision over Tommy Petersen (NDSU), 12-1 /17-13 WYO
285: #15/19/19 Evan Knutson, decision over Tanner Harms, 6-4 / 18-17 NDSU
125: #20/19/NR Josh Rodriquez, decision over #13/11/14 Tyler Cox, 9-7 TB3 / 21-17 NDSU
133: Drew Templeman, major decision over Hunter Weber, 10-2 / 21-21 Tied
Final: 22-21, NDSU over Wyoming - * Criteria point awarded to NDSU