#1 Hawkeyes Top #8 Huskers in Return to CHA
On Saturday night, nearly 13,000 Iowa wrestling fans wrestled with Mother Nature and watched the Iowa wrestling team compete in a dual for the fist time in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in seven weeks. The top ranked Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the #7 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers 26-6.
Iowa won eight-of-10 bouts, including three-of-four top 10 matchups, to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have won its last 12 meetings in the series against Nebraska.
Spencer Lee opened the dual with a 18-0 technical fall at 125. He scored a takedown midway through the first, and rolled up 16 nearfall points to end the match in 2:58.
“I kept my pace high,” Lee said. “It is a scoring points mindset and that is all I can think about on the mat. It is not about how much time is left, maybe like it used to be. It is just about scoring points until the ref blows the whistle.”
Spencer Lee improved to 9-0, 14-0 all time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, with nine bonus-point wins. He has won his last four matches by technical fall.
Iowa won four matches to take a 14-3 lead into intermission, and came back from the break with three consecutive wins over top-five opponents. Alex Marinelli went on a second-period ride and scored four points in the final period to top No. 5 Isaiah White, 4-3, at 165. Michael Kemerer’s takedown with 17 seconds on the clock was the difference in his 3-1 win over No. 6 Mikey Labriola at 174. And Abe Assad, in his Carver debut, scored takedowns in the second and third period to win by 6-4 decision over No. 5 Taylor Venz at 184.
“My favorite moment from the whole match was end of the second period I got that takedown, and I had that huge mat return at the edge,” Assad said. “I returned him and he just stuck to the mat and didn’t move. I heard the crowd and it was awesome. There is nothing better than that. That’s why you put in all those hours for in the practice room, for moments just like that.”
Iowa held a 13-6 advantage in takedowns and outscored the Huskers 57-27 in match points, but minus Lee’s 18-0 win and Tony Cassioppi’s 6-1 decision at 285, every match of the dual was decided by four points or fewer.
Spencer Lee (17-0), Austin DeSanto (11-0), Alex Marinelli (21-0), Abe Assad (3-0), and Tony Cassioppi (4-0) are undefeated in their careers in Big Ten duals.
For the season, Iowa wrestlers have a combined record of 37-3 in Big Ten duals, and a 62-8 record overall in six duals this season.
“I think we got out strategized, we got out coached. They worked very hard and smart to keep it close, to beat us in the end,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “We’ve got to get better, too many close matches. (You) don’t have to wait. Why didn’t that happen in the first period? Make this fun and get a little momentum going.”
Iowa hosts No. 4 Ohio State on Friday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
#1 IOWA 26, #7 Nebraska 6
125 -- #1 Spencer Lee (IA) tech. fall Alex Thomsen (N), 18-0; 5-0
133 -- #2 Austin DeSanto (IA) dec. #13 Ridge Lovett (N), 7-4; 8-0
141 -- #9 Chad Red (N) dec. #6 Max Murin (IA), 6-2; 8-3
149 -- #1 Pat Lugo (IA) dec. #16 Collin Purinton (N), 4-1; 11-3
157 -- #6 Kaleb Young (IA) dec. #11 Peyton Robb (N)6-4; 14-3
165 -- #2 Alex Marinelli (IA) dec. #5 Isaiah White (N), 4-3; 17-3
174 -- #2 Michael Kemerer (IA) dec. #6 Mikey Labriola (N), 3-1; 20-3
184 -- #10 Abe Assad (IA) dec. #5 Taylor Venz (N), 6-4; 23-3
197 -- #14 Eric Schultz (N) dec. #3 Jacob Warner (IA), 3-1; 23-6
285 -- #3 Tony Cassioppi (IA) #15 Christian Lance (N)
Records: Iowa (7-0, 4-0), Nebraska (5-2, 0-2)