Minnesota steams past Purdue
Minnesota returned to the Hoosier State for its second dual in Indiana in the past eight days. Just as they did last Sunday in Bloomington, the Gophers put together a convincing performance in West Lafayette to knock off Purdue, 29-12, at Holloway Gym.
Five bonus point wins, including tech falls to begin and end the dual, powered Minnesota to a season-high 29 point outburst. Minnesota built a halftime lead thanks to a dual-opening tech fall from No. 6 Ethan Lizak, the Gophers sealed the dual with three straight victories, including tech falls from No. 2 Brett Pfarr and No. 8 Michael Kroells.
For Lizak, Pfarr and Kroells, Sunday’s was the second straight dual in which all three delivered tech falls for the Gophers. Lizak’s performances have been particularly impressive, as neither of his opponents during this two-match flurry have managed to score a single point. On Sunday, Lizak began the dual and staked the Gophers to a five-point lead with a 15-0 win over Ben Thornton. Minnesota protected that lead throughout the day, never falling behind the Boilermakers.
In addition to the tech falls, the Gophers got a pair of major decisions on both sides of the halftime intermission. No. 9 Jake Short took down Cole Wysocki eight times in their 157-pound match to pick up a 17-7 win heading into the break. That win pushed the Gophers lead from two – the smallest margin they had at any point in the afternoon – to six. Once the teams returned from the locker room, No. 15 Nick Wanzek earned a major over Dylan Lydy, 13-4. Winning by six late in the match, Wanzek scored the bonus-point-clinching takedown as the final seconds melted away, pushing the Gophers advantage to 10.
Between the three tech falls and two major decisions, Minnesota had its best dual for bonus point wins since a Feb. 8, 2015 dual at Maryland, a dual in which the Gophers pounded the Terrapins, 34-12, thanks to three pins, a tech fall and a major.
The Gophers won seven total matches on Sunday. In addition to the five bonus point wins, No. 13 Tommy Thorn controlled his match against Kyle Ayersman, allowing only escapes in the 10-5 win. At 184 pounds, Bobby Steveson triggered the three-match sweep to end the dual with a 5-3 decision over Tanner Lynde. Like Thorn, Steveson did not allow a takedown in his match. Originally from Indiana, Steveson had a large family contingent in the crowd on Sunday cheering him on to victory.
Purdue’s victories came at 133, 149 and 174 pounds, with a fall for Jacob Morrissey in the last of those three contests providing the day’s highlight for the home team.
Minnesota’s 29 points quite literally one-ups the team’s performance from last Sunday, when it set a new season-high by scoring 28 against Indiana. The 29 points against Purdue is the most Minnesota has scored in a dual since finishing the 2015-16 regular season by hanging 30 on Iowa State.
The Gophers have one week off now to prepare for one of the greatest rivalries in college wrestling. The Iowa Hawkeyes come to Minneapolis next Sunday, Feb. 5, for an 11 a.m. dual. Tickets for that match are currently available on MyGopherSports.com.
Minnesota 29 Purdue 12
125: No. 6 Ethan Lizak (Minn) tech fall Ben Thornton (PU), 16-0 | Minn 5 – PU 0
133: Luke Welch (PU) dec No. 15 Mitch McKee (Minn), 4-0 | Minn 5 – PU 3
141: No. 13 Tommy Thorn (Minn) dec Kyle Ayersman (PU), 10-5 | Minn 8 – PU 3
149: Nate Limmex (PU) dec Carson Brolsma (Minn), 8-4| Minn 8 – PU 6
157: No. 9 Jake Short (Minn) maj dec (PU), 17-7 | Minn 12 – PU 6
165: No. 15 Nick Wanzek (Minn) maj dec Dylan Lydy (PU), 13-4 | Minn 16 – PU 6
174: Jacob Morrissey (PU) fall (2:23) Chris Pfarr (Minn) | Minn 16 – PU 12
184: Bobby Steveson (Minn) dec Tanner Lynde (PU), 5-3 | Minn 19 – PU 12
197: No. 2 Brett Pfarr (Minn) tech fall Christian Brunner (PU), 18-3 | Minn 24 – PU 12
285: No. 8 Michael Kroells (Minn) tech fall Tyler Kral (PU), 15-0 | Minn 29 – PU 12