December 9, 2012

Oklahoma State dominates Bedlam mat battle

December 9, 2012 CNHI

— NORMAN — Three days before Sunday’s Bedlam dual, Oklahoma wrestling coach Mark Cody offered two assertions.

One, the way some look at it, the only favorite among Sooners might be top-ranked 141-pounder Kendric Maple. On the other hand, said Cody, he saw OU splitting the 10 bouts with the Pokes, leaving victory and defeat to bonus points.

The truth wore orange.

No. 2 Oklahoma State dominated 10th-ranked OU 26-9  at Howard McCasland Field House.

Maple did his job, pinning OSU’s Julian Feikert with 1:03 remaining in the third period, and that seemed to put the Sooners in a good position, up 9-3, having already received a 3-2 decision from 125-pounder Kyle Garcia in the afternoon’s first bout.

But if Garcia’s victory was house money, no more was forthcoming. The Cowboys ran the table after Maple and Feikert left the mat.

“I thought we did OK,” OSU coach John Smith said. “I was pleased with the scoreboard. There were a few things that I didn’t like as far as discipline. I liked the grind-out wins at 133, 157 and 165.”

Oklahoma coach Mark Cody wasn’t pleased with anything.

“I think that’s the worst performance I’ve seen from the team since I’ve been here,” Cody said. “I was shocked by the way we competed.”

Oklahoma took the first bout with its 125-pounder Kyle Garcia edging Oklahoma State’s Eddie Klimara. Oklahoma State led in the first after a takedown. Garcia got a reversal to even the score. In the third Garcia escaped from Klimara’s grasp to win.

Jon Morrison, who is ranked eighth evened the score with a 9-4 victory. The junior recorded two takedowns and an escape to grab a 5-3 lead in the first. An escape and a takedown in the third sealed the bout.

Maple controlled the bout against Feikert from the get-go, scoring seven points in the first on a 3-point near fall, a 2-point nearfall and a takedown. Maple ended the match with 1:03 left.

Second-ranked Jordan Oliver defeated sixth-ranked Nick Lester by major decision, 14-5. Four takedowns in the first period allowed Oliver to hold an 8-3 lead. In the third, Oliver gained a point for stalling, then scored a takedown to put him over the necessary eight-point lead for major decision.

Then came the game-changing match at the 157-pound bout featuring No. 14 Alex Dieringer and Oklahoma’s ninth ranked Matt Lester. Dieringer fell behind early after he suffered a takedown. In the second, Dieringer evened the score with a takedown, only to see Lester re-take the lead with an escape. Dieringer came back with a takedown to hold a 4-3 lead after two. Lester evened the score at the beginning of the third with an escape but Lester took him down 11 seconds later to take a 6-4 lead. Lester got back within one with an escape but Dieringer followed with a takedown in the final minute to win. Smith said he was proud of how Dieringer fought back.

The third-ranked 165-pound Tyler Caldwell, made his return to his former home mat taking on No. 6 Buddy Graham. The match would be close. Caldwell was taken down with 50 seconds left in the first but escaped to trail 2-1 after one. Caldwell tied the score in the second with an escape. Graham took the lead with three seconds left in the bout on an escape. Caldwell gained a point for riding time to keep the score tied. In overtime Caldwell scored a takedown with 23 seconds left. The junior said it was good to get the first Bedlam match out of the way.

“I feel really relieved to have that match out of the way,” Caldwell said. “I feel like now I can open up and wrestle more aggressive and not so cautious now that I got that first one out of the way.”

Chris Perry, the top 174-pound wrestler gave some distance for the Cowboys with a 22-6 technical fall victory over Matt Reed. Smith said he was glad Perry got points but thought some things could have been better.

“He’s shooting a lot more and is putting points on the board,” Smith said. “When you put 15, 16 to 17 points it’s a different level of conditioning and intensity and thinking. ... I’m pleased with his tech fall but he got a tech fall without back points.

“The difference in that is a half-point at nationals and a full point at national dual meet.”

The victory was the Cowboys’ sixth straight in the series. From the beginning of Bedlam time, OSU leads the series 131-26-10.

The Cowboys (4-0) face Chattanooga and Cornell next Sunday at Madison Square Gardens in New York.  The Sooners (4-3) have 20 days off before the Midlands Classic Dec. 29 in Evanston, Ill.

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