Eighty-four straight matches without losing is not too bad.
The Hawkeye wrestling team did that, and to lose to Oklahoma State last Saturday night, 17-16, was interesting.
The Cowboys held the record at 84 straight and now Iowa is tied with them.
Four years in a row without a loss… good job Hawkeyes!
Iowa had five wins, State had five and the score was tied 16-16 at the end of the meet, but the Cowboys won on criteria, scoring more match points (54-51).
Watching Tony Ramos knock off defending National Champion Jordan Oliver at 133 was worth the price of admission.
Speaking of admission there were almost 15,500 fans at the meet and talk about electricity…
Jordan was 10-0 coming into the match… all of them by pins.
Tony got the only takedown and won it in overtime, 4-3, despite a controversy on riding time.
Matt McDonough had a solid major decision at 125 and Montell Marion (141), Mike Evans (165) and Vinnie Wagner (184) all had decisions.
The Hawks had a tough loss at 174 when Ethen Lofthouse got beat in overtime, 3-2.
Chris Perry, the Cowboy wrestler, showed no class getting into it after the match was over with Ethen and then taunting the Iowa crowd on the way to the locker room.
I have a feeling Iowa coach Tom Brands will use this as motivation.
Earlier in the day, the Hawkeye basketball team hosted the sixth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, and 15,500 fans, including one of my homeboys Rick and I, packed Carver Hawkeye Arena like the old days.
The Buckeyes rolled 76-47 but the Hawks hung tough in the first half.
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State’s big man, is the real deal.
He scored 28 points in 31 minutes hitting 13 of 18 shots, grabbed eight rebounds and one steal.
Jared was guarding the inbound pass when Devyn Marble took the ball out for the Hawks.
I was sitting right behind Devyn taking pictures and saw how hard it was for Devyn to get the ball over or around the 6-9, 275 pound man-child. Jared could block out the sun.
Zach McCabe had to cover Jared and was giving up about 40 pounds… not good.
The Hawks did pull off a big victory earlier in the week, though.
It’s really tough to win in the Big Ten. The conference has five teams in the top 25 and has the best RPI rating, meaning it’s the top rated men’s basketball conference in the country.
It’s even harder to win on the road.
When the Hawkeyes traveled to Minnesota last week, they hadn’t beaten the Gophers at Minnesota since 2007.
The Hawks were down by 10 in the first half, Melsahn Basabe played only 11 minutes, scored no points with one rebound and Iowa, leading in the last minute by eight, missed their last six free throws… but they won 64-62.
Before the season started, I thought the Hawkeyes could possibly win maybe one more game than they lost and somehow get into the NIT.
After a slow start when they opened the season 5-5, I was just hoping they would win more games then last year which was 11.
Iowa is sitting 10-6, 2-1 in the Big Ten.
You have to give a lot of credit to Matt Gatens, who carried the team against the Gophers, scoring 19 points with six rebounds, three assists and three steals in 36 minutes and no turnovers.
Zach McCabe and Aaron White, who came off the bench, chipped in with 12 and 10 points respectively and combined for 15 rebounds.
“There’s no explanation for when you get a group of guys that fight the way we did,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “It wasn’t a perfect game but it was a game in which we fought and that’s what we want. When your team fights you can live with anything that happens there.”
How does a team struggle the whole game, make only 1-12 three pointers in regulation and then dominate in overtime?
That’s kind of what the Hawkeyes did last Thursday at Carver.
Iowa knocked off Illinois 69-62 in OT after trailing most of the game. Kamille Wahlin sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in regulation.
“I’m just really, really proud of our team because we kept believing,” said Head Coach Lisa Bluder. “Shot’s weren’t falling for us but our zone defense was pretty good. We only had 10 turnovers against a team that’s forcing 20 per game. Morgan has a double-double, this was a good all around game for us.”
Morgan Johnson was hit in the head in the second half, was down and out for a while but came back, finished the game and made three free throws in overtime.
Morgan is one tough cookie. She’s playing with pain in her knees, is getting knocked down in the last few games, but scores 14 points, has 16 rebounds and blocks five shots against the Fighting Illini.
Jaime Printy struggled on her outside shooting most of the game, but led Iowa with 20 points and four assists.
Kamille Wahlin plays 42 minutes, hits the game tying 3-pointer, scores 13 with four assists.
Samantha Logic goes down with an ankle injury and Kalli Hansen and Theairra Taylor came off the bench with some good minutes. They combined for nine points, nine rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot.
The Hawkeyes couldn’t pull off the same kind of victory against Nebraska on Sunday at Carver.
Iowa led most of the second half but 2-16 shooting from 3-point range turned into the Hawkeyes’ second loss in the Big Ten as they are 10-7, 2-2 in the conference.
Morgan Johnson had another double-double with 21 points 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
With the Cornhuskers covering the 3-point shot, Iowa got the ball inside to Morgan.
“I think we have to get the ball inside to Morgan more,” said coach Bluder. “She shoots the ball extremely well today and I would love to give her more touches.”
Printy was only 2-7 from behind the arc but scored a team high 27 points getting a lot of driving layups and drawing fouls. She was 9-10 from the free throw line.
“Jaime is always a consistent scorer for us,” said coach Bluder. “She also has five assists, zero turnovers, three steals and she gets herself to the free throw line.”
Kamille Wahlin had 12 but Iowa didn’t get it’s usual production off the bench and starter Kelly Krei was held scoreless.
Samantha Logic was slowed down with an ankle sprain so it’s good time for the Hawks to have a week off.
“Pretty good time for us,” said the coach. “We could really use it. Sam, Kalli and Theairra are banged up so it will be nice to get some rest for those players.”
They play at Purdue next Sunday.
It was good to see Virginia Johnson back on the bench. She has been recovering from a concussion and hasn’t played since Dec. 17.