IOWA CITY — In a sold-out crowd in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the better team walked out victorious: The Iowa Hawkeyes.
Iowa State and Iowa split the 10 matches right down the middle — the Cyclones won five and the Hawkeyes won five. It was bonus points that made the difference and lifted Iowa to an 18-15 win.
How did it happen?
Iowa won three matches by major decision (125, 157, and 174) which set them apart. Iowa State collected zero bonus points.
“Bonus points were the difference tonight,” Dresser said. “A lot of scrapping. A lot of good things. I told my team in the locker room that I loved their effort. Both teams gave really great effort but I guess you get that in a rivalry. I thought we wrestled hard. We rolled the dice a little bit. We learned a lot of lessons. We have a lot to take from this to make us better. Hats off to Iowa. They came ready to scrap. They were the better team today.”
In the entire dual, Iowa State scored 13 total takedowns to Iowa’s 12 but, Iowa had three near falls (back points) and Iowa State had zero. Iowa’s wrestlers managed to earn 18 escape points and four garnered riding time.
“The good thing about losing is that we always learn more from losing than we do winning,” Dresser said. “We’ve got some good notes. Even guys like Marcus Coleman who won, have to open up. That’s the message. They have to open up. This group is very receptive though. They’re very coachable so they can take it.”
One Cyclone stood out the most, 149-pounder Paniro Johnson. He silenced an explosive Carver Arena with a 3-1 win over All-American Max Murin in sudden victory.
“He’s got swagger,” Dresser said. “He’s proven himself. He’s beaten Austin Gomez (Wisconsin) and Max Murin in the first month of his college career. He’s not too bad. He’s really doing all the right things right now.”
The rivalry is back
Although the Hawks won their 18th straight win over the Cyclones, there wasn’t a point where Iowa had the win secured. Iowa State was one single match away from coming out the winner.
There were 14,905 fans in attendance for the top-10 match-up. If you wanted the best seat in the house, which was located in the first row near the Iowa bench, it would have cost you $735.
Everything you could want from a Cy-Hawk match-up you probably got. There were challenge bricks thrown, bloody noses and blown kisses from Yonger Bastida after taking down No. 2 Jacob Warner.
The dual kept everyone on the edge of their seat as it was tied 15-15 going into the final matchup of the night to determine who would be the winner.
“It’s back,” Dresser said. “I think that people love to make stuff about history and stuff like that. But, when we get into the arena we’re not going to be friendly to each other and it’s going to be like that forever. We’re not trying to change anything about it.”
Head coach Tom Brands shares the sentiment.
“All the chatter, we haven’t addressed that yet, but it’s about our guys,” Brands said. “The chatter is for the fans. They love it and we love it.”