STILLWATER, Oklahoma - The top-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team improved its undefeated record to 5-0 Friday night, coming back to defeat No. 8 Cornell, 23-19, in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Senior Anthony Collica provided the highlight of the dual, pinning Joey Galasso in 3:31 to put the Cowboys up six with two matches remaining and allowing Joe Smith to seal the win for the Cowboys with a major decision over Kyle Simaz in his first action of the year.
"I don't think we had a great match, but at the same time I was glad we grinded out matches that we needed to win," head coach John Smith said. "Preston Weigel—I'm not sure if he would've found a way to win that type of match last year, but it was good to see him find a way to win. Of course, Kaid Brock and that group from 133 to 157 ended up being pretty important for us to win those four straight matches. Not the perfect match, but Cornell looked like a team that was more seasoned than us in a lot of different positions. It'll help us."
Cornell jumped up early, taking a 7-0 lead after taking the first two matches of the night. Cowboy senior Kyle Crutchmer dropped the first match of the night, 3-2, to sixth-ranked Brian Realbuto at 174 pounds for his first loss of the season. Senior Nolan Boyd was defeated by top-ranked Gabe Dean in a 14-6 major decision at 184 pounds.
Redshirt sophomore Preston Weigel got the Cowboys on the board at 197 pounds, gutting out a 3-2 decision over Cornell's Ben Honis thanks to a takedown with 40 seconds remaining in the match that put the Russell, Kan., product on top.
Heavyweight Austin Schafer continued the strong start to his senior season, recording a 7-3 decision over Craig Scott that would pull Oklahoma State within one of the Big Red. Schafer led throughout the match and moved to a perfect 8-0 on the season with the win.
Moving back down to 125 pounds, Cornell halted the Cowboys' momentum as Noah Baughman notched a non-control fall over redshirt freshman Nick Piccininni late in the second period. The fall dug the Cowboys into a 13-6 hole with five matches to go.
Redshirt freshman Kaid Brock sparked the Cowboys at 133 with a major decision over 17th-ranked Mark Grey that was the first of four-straight wins for OSU. Leading, 4-1, after one period, Brock turned it on in the second, outscoring Grey, 9-3, to seize control of the match. The win was Brock's second of the season over a ranked opponent and moved him to 5-1 for his career against ranked foes.
Top-ranked Dean Heil evened the team score at 13 apiece after a 6-1 decision at 141 pounds. The win pushed his perfect record on the year to 9-0.
Collica gave the lead to the Cowboys for good with his pin. The senior started hot, picking up three takedowns and a nearfall halfway through the first to eventually lead 13-4 after one. Collica continued that aggressiveness in the second, picking up a couple more takedowns before finally getting Galasso on his back for the fall. The win was Collica's second-straight bonus point victory, moving him to 4-0 overall this season.
"I know we started slow, so I had to change something up," Collica said. "I just came out a little tougher. I expected a tough match because every guy on their team wrestled tough. Coming out tough made the difference."
Smith sealed the win for OSU in his return to the mat, posting a 15-6 major decision over Simaz to put the Cowboys on top, 23-13.
The Big Red would get on the board one more time at 165 pounds, as No. 20 Brandon Womack pinned Chandler Rogers just over a minute into the first period.
A handful of Cowboy reserves will be in action Sunday at the Reno Tournament of Champions. The next dual for the Pokes will be Jan. 15 against No. 3 Iowa at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
No. 1 Oklahoma State 23, No. 8 Cornell 19
Dec. 16, 2016  |  Gallagher-Iba Arena  |  Stillwater, Okla.  |  Attendance: 2,982
174: No. 6 Brian Realbuto (CU) dec. No. 4 Kyle Crutchmer (OSU) 3-2184: No. 1 Gabe Dean (CU) MD No. 6 Nolan Boyd (OSU) 14-6
197: No. 5 Preston Weigel (OSU) dec. Ben Honis (CU) 3-2
HWT: No. 11 Austin Schafer (OSU) dec. Craig Scott (CU) 7-3
125: Noah Baughman (CU) fall No. 9 Nick Piccininni (OSU) 4:25
133: No. 5 Kaid Brock (OSU) MD No. 17 Mark Grey (CU) 17-6
141: No. 1 Dean Heil (OSU) dec. Will Koll (CU) 6-1
149: No. 3 Anthony Collica (OSU) fall Joey Galasso (CU) 3:31
157: No. 3 Joe Smith (OSU) MD Kyle Simaz (CU) 15-6
165: No. 20 Brandon Womack (CU) fall No. 8 Chandler Rogers (OSU) 1:05