COLUMBUS, Ohio – Facing eight wrestlers ranked in the Top 15, the No. 3 Ohio State wrestling team (10-1) dropped a 23-9 decision to No. 2 Iowa State Sunday in the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The Buckeyes will face No. 5 Minnesota for third place in a Big Ten Conference matchup at 4 p.m. ET Sunday. The dual will be a rematch of the fifth-place matchup in the National Duals from a year ago, in which Ohio State won, 25-12. The Gophers suffered a 28-12 setback to Iowa in the other semifinal bout Sunday.

Against the Cyclones, the Scarlet and Gray received wins from No. 1 Reece Humphrey (141), No. 3 Lance Palmer (149) and No. 20 Dave Rella (174).

After trailing 7-0 early, not a trend the Buckeyes were wholly unfamiliar with during the National Duals – they overcame early deficits to Arizona State and Cornell Saturday – Humphrey secured a 6-5 decision against Dalton Jensen. Humphrey, a senior tri-captain, and Jensen were tied at 4-all in the middle of the second period before a takedown by Humphrey lifted him to a 6-4 lead. Jensen attempted to rally with an escape in the third period, but the Buckeye from Indianapolis, Ind., was able to hold off the comeback.

Also a senior tri-captain, Palmer won Ohio State’s second consecutive match with his 4-3 decision over No. 10 Mitch Mueller. Following a scoreless first period, Palmer, a native of Columbia Station, Ohio, scored an escape in the second period for the slim 1-0 lead. Mueller took a 2-1 lead on a reversal in the final frame, but Palmer answered with an escape and takedown. A late escape by Mueller ended the scoring.

Down 7-6, the Buckeyes nearly took their first lead of the afternoon at the conclusion of the 157-pound match. Red-shirt freshman Tony Jameson dropped a close 12-9 decision to Andrew Sorenson. The two wrestlers entered the third period knotted up at 9-all. However, Sorenson was able to score a takedown in the final period, and coupled with a riding time advantage of 3:35, secured the win.

Ohio State would go on to drop four of its five remaining matches, including two tight contests at 184 pounds and heavyweight. At 174 pounds, Rella earned the Buckeyes’ final win of the dual with his 3-1 decision against No. 14 Ryan Burk. With Rella and Burk tied, 1-1, at the end of regulation, the Buckeye from Akron, Ohio, scored a takedown in sudden victory.

Senior tri-captain Mike Pucillo and No. 11 Jerome Ward entered the third period even with two points apiece at 184 pounds, but Ward’s reversal and riding time of 1:16 bettered Pucillo’s third-period escape.

In the heavyweight matchup, senior Corey Morrison owned a 1-0 lead against No. 5 David Zabriskie heading into the third period. However, a pair of escapes and a takedown by the Cyclone lifted him to victory.

NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals
No. 3 Ohio State 9, No. 2 Iowa State 23
Jan. 10, 2010
Cedar Falls, Iowa

125 – No. 5 Andrew Long (Iowa State) dec. Nikko Triggas, 8-1
133 – No. 8 Nicholas Fanthorpe (Iowa State) mdec. Ian Paddock, 14-5
141 – No. 1 Reece Humphrey dec. Dalton Jensen (Iowa State), 6-5
149 – No. 3 Lance Palmer dec. No. 10 Mitch Mueller (Iowa State), 4-3
157 – Andrew Sorenson (Iowa State) dec. Tony Jameson, 12-9
165 – No. 3 Jonathan Reader (Iowa State) dec. No. 7 Colt Sponseller, 6-0
174 – No. 20 Dave Rella dec. No. 14 Ryan Burk (Iowa State), 3-1
184 – No. 11 Jerome Ward (Iowa State) dec. No. 8 Mike Pucillo, 5-3
197 – No. 1 Jake Varner (Iowa State) mdec. Cody Magrum, 9-0
285 – No. 5 David Zabriskie (Iowa State) dec. Corey Morrison, 4-3