Bison Headed to Iowa for Pair of Big 12 Showdowns

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State (6-1, 1-1 Big 12) will hit the road this weekend for two Big 12 matchups in the state of Iowa. The Bison will take on Northern Iowa (2-5, 1-2 Big 12) on Saturday, Jan. 22, in Cedar Falls before a trip to Ames on Sunday, Jan. 23, to take on Iowa State (8-1, 1-0 Big 12). The dual against UNI is slated for a 7 p.m. start inside West Gym, while the matchup against the Cyclones will be at 2 p.m. at the Hilton Coliseum.

TICKETS: Due to a facility issue that is limiting capacity at Northern Iowa, ticket sales were discontinued earlier this year and seating will be limited to those who have already purchased tickets in advance or will be on any pass list. For Sunday’s dual at Iowa State, tickets are available in advance and at the door.

DUAL COVERAGE: Saturday’s dual at Northern Iowa will be streamed live online through FloWrestling. Sunday’s dual against Iowa State will be televised on Big 12 Now and ESPN+. Live statistics of both events will be available through TrackWrestling.

LAST TIME OUT: NDSU picked up a 22-14 victory over Wyoming on Sunday, securing four ranked-bout victories, including Owen Pentz pin of #3 Stephen Buchanan, to help the Bison snap a three-game skid to the Pokes.

BIG 12 WRESTLER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Owen Pentz (197) was named the Big 12 Wrestler of the Week Tuesday, following an upset pin of Wyoming’s No. 3 Stephen Buchanan last weekend. Then No. 32-ranked Pentz recorded his ninth pin of the year in 4:49, after opening up a 5-1 lead in the second period. Pentz became just the fifth Bison to be named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week and the first in nearly five years, with the last Bison to receive the honor being Ben Tynan (285) on January 30, 2017.

THE SERIES (UNI): This is the 28th meeting between North Dakota State and Northern Iowa dating back to January 13, 1968. It has been a series dominated by the Panthers, who lead 23-3-1, and have won the last two duals between the two programs, including a 27-11 win last year in Brookings, S.D. The last win for the Bison came on February 13, 2016, 22-15 in Fargo. NDSU has lost eight straight in Cedar Falls with the last victory coming in the 1975-76 season, 18-14.

THE SERIES (ISU): This is the 9th meeting between the Bison and Iowa State, with the first meeting coming on December 13, 2008. The Cyclones hold a 7-1 record against the Bison, including wins in the last four duals and wins in both Bison trips to Ames. Last season Iowa State defeated NDSU 32-6 in Fargo. The only Bison win came in the first Big 12 matchup between the two programs in November of 2016, with NDSU winning 25-16 in Fargo.

IN THE RANKINGS: North Dakota State currently has seven wrestlers ranked in the InterMat and/or FloWrestling weight class rankings. Junior Jared Franek (15-1) leads the way for the Bison and holds the No. 7 spot at 157 pounds in the InterMat rankings and No. 9 by Flo. 165 pound senior Luke Weber (13-3, 14/16), 197-pound sophomore Owen Pentz (11-4, 22/23), and heavyweight senior Brandon Metz (14-3, 19/21) are also ranked in both polls. Three Bison are currently ranked in the InterMat classifications and also receiving honorable mention in the Flo rankings. 174 pound Austin Brenner (16-8, 23), 133 pound Kellyn March (11-5, 22), and 141 pound Dylan Droegemueller (9-2, 27) all received rankings by InterMat.

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