Minnesota 19 South Dakota State 13

Top-15 Showdown Goes to Gophers in 19-13 Win over South Dakota State

MINNEAPOLIS – No. 13 Minnesota (4-0) opened its home season with a 19-13 comeback victory over No. 12 South Dakota State (3-1) Sunday at Maturi Pavilion.

It’s the second straight season that the Golden Gophers have opened the year with four straight dual wins. Prior to that, it had not happened since the 2014-15 campaign.

South Dakota State won the first two matches of the dual Saturday as No. 22 Tanner Jordan won a top-25 matchup with No. 6 sixth-year senior Patrick McKee at 125 pounds, 9-4. Derrick Cardinal then topped freshman Tyler Wells, 5-3, at 133 pounds.

The Gophers got on the board at 141 pounds behind redshirt sophomore Vance VomBaur. Facing Caleb Gross, VomBaur scored a first-period takedown and added an escape in the second stanza. He released Gross in the third and emerged with a 4-2 win to improve to 6-1 on the season, 6-0 lifetime against the Jackrabbits and 3-0 versus Gross.

Minnesota evened the match at 6-6 when No. 19 redshirt sophomore Drew Roberts prevailed over Alek Martin, 7-1, at 149 pounds. Leading 3-0 after the first, Roberts started on bottom in period two and escaped midway through. He extended the lead to 6-1 with a takedown in the final 10 seconds.

A turning point in the match came a top-15 dual at 157 pounds between No. 13 sixth-year senior Michael Blockhus and No. 11 Cael Swensen. The third period started with Swensen starting on bottom and leading 3-1. Blockhus released him and battled to tie it up, coming through with just 30 seconds remaining to send the match to overtime at 4-4. One minute into overtime, Blockhus secured the comeback win with a takedown and a 7-4 victory.

Redshirt sophomore Blaine Brenner made it four straight wins for the Gophers with an upset of No. 19 Tanner Cook at 165. Cook jumped out to a 6-0 lead with a takedown and near-fall points, but Brenner closed out the first period with an escape and his own takedown to trail 6-4. Starting down, Brenner escaped to get within one then pulled ahead with a scrambling takedown, 8-6. He then rode out Cook for the entire third period to win it 9-6.

A 4-1 decision for No. 7 Cade Devos over redshirt junior Sam Skillings trimmed the Gopher lead to 12-9, but senior Isaiah Salazar came through with a 14-3 major decision at 184 to push the lead back to 16-9. Ranked seventh by Intermat, Salazar faced Connor Gaynor, who wrestled up two weight classes. Salazar wasted little time with a takedown and four near-fall points in the first period. In the third period, up 8-0, Salazar used a reversal and another takedown, plus riding time to get the final margin.

No. 3 Tanner Sloan defeated No. 17 sixth-year senior Garrett Joles at 197 pounds by a 11-2 major decision, leaving the dual result up to heavyweight.

In the final match of the day, Bennett Tabor took on Luke Rasmussen. It looked as though it would be a scoreless opening period, but Tabor got the three points right before the buzzer. The second period started at neutral and Rasmussen tied it up, only to see Tabor get a reversal and add four near-fall points. Leading 9-5, Tabor was on bottom for the entire final period but he didn’t allow Rasmussen to turn him and secured a 9-7 win.

The Jackrabbits return to tournament action Dec. 1-2 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Action Friday begins at 11 a.m. Central Time.

Minnesota is back in action Saturday at the Cougar Clash in Edwardsville, Ill.

Nov. 26, 2023 | Minneapolis | Maturi Pavilion | Attendance: 2,372

#13 Minnesota 19, #12 South Dakota State 13
125 #22 Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State) dec. #6 Patrick McKee (Minnesota) 9-4
133 Derrick Cardinal (South Dakota State) dec. Tyler Wells (Minnesota) 5-3
141 #31 Vance Vombaur (Minnesota) dec. Caleb Gross (South Dakota State) 5-2
149 #19 Drew Roberts (Minnesota) dec. Alek Martin (South Dakota State) 8-1
157 #13 Michael Blockhus (Minnesota) dec. #11 Cael Swensen (South Dakota State) 7-4 sv1
165 Blaine Brenner (Minnesota) dec. #19 Tanner Cook (South Dakota State) 9-6
174 #7 Cade DeVos (South Dakota State) dec. Sam Skillings (Minnesota) 4-1
184 #7 Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota) maj. dec. Connor Gaynor (South Dakota State) 15-3
197 #3 Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) maj. dec. #17 Garrett Joles (Minnesota) 11-2
285 Bennett Tabor (Minnesota) dec. Luke Rasmussen (South Dakota State) 9-7

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