COLUMBUS, Ohio – Behind six wins, the No. 3 Ohio State wrestling team (11-1) finished third in the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Sunday after defeating No. 5 Minnesota, 26-12, at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The Buckeyes rebounded nicely from a semifinal loss to No. 2 Iowa State earlier in the day to return to double-digit scoring. Furthermore, aside from just the seven points it allowed against No. 15 Arizona State in the opening round of the National Duals, Ohio State gave up only 12 points to the Gophers.  

After a 10-3 loss by junior Nikko Triggas at 125 pounds to sixth-ranked Zach Sanders, the Scarlet and Gray preceded to win five consecutive matches for a 17-3 lead. Freshman Ian Paddock began the streak at 133 pounds with his 6-4 decision over Thane Antczak. Paddock and Antczak entered the second period tied at 2-all, but the Golden Gopher took a 3-2 advantage on an escape. However, Antczak’s lead would not last long because in the third period, Paddock scored a reversal for the one-point advantage. Antczak tied the score again at, 4-4, with an escape, but a two-point nearfall by the Buckeye from Warsaw, N.Y., sealed the victory.

Senior tri-captain Reece Humphrey downed No. 7 Mike Thorn, 5-3, at 141 pounds in a match that saw both wrestlers tied at 3 apiece in the waning minutes of the third period. The No. 1-ranked wrestler at 141 pounds, Humphrey scored a crucial takedown in the third frame to become the first Buckeye to 20 wins this season.    

Also a senior tri-captain, Lance Palmer went a perfect 4-0 at the National Duals after he beat No. 18 Mario Mason, 7-1, at 149 pounds. No. 3 in the latest InterMat standings, Palmer used a pair of takedowns, an escape, a Mason penalty and a riding time of 2:44 to earn his 17th win of the season.

Redshirt-freshman Tony Jameson was one of two Buckeyes to score bonus points against Minnesota with his 18-9 major decision over Joseph Grygelko at 157 pounds. Jameson’s line featured the following – three-point nearfall, two-point nearfall, three takedowns, two reversals, two escapes and a riding time of 2:45.

Junior Colt Sponseller followed at 165 pounds with his 11-1 major decision vs. Nathan Matousek. An escape by Matousek in the third period ruined the shutout for the seventh-ranked Sponseller, but nonetheless he wrestled an impressive match that included a three-point nearfall, three takedowns, an escape and a riding time of 2:28.

Minnesota added points to the board in the 174-pound match as No. 20 Dave Rella suffered an 8-3 setback to No. 13 Scott Glasser. Down, 5-0, heading into the third period, Rella attempted to rally with an escape and takedown, but it was not enough.

Fans at the UNI-Dome were unable to see any action in the following match at 184 pounds as Minnesota forfeited the 184-pound bout before the Gophers put their final points on the board on a Cody Magrum forfeit.   

With the Scarlet and Gray owning a solid 23-12 lead, senior heavyweight Corey Morrison wrapped up the day and the 2010 National Duals with his 9-4 decision over Ben Berhow. Morrison held Berhow scoreless in the third period after allowing just three escapes in the previous two (Morrison was called for his second caution in the second, awarding Berhow the fourth point). Meanwhile, the Buckeye from Shaker Heights, Ohio, amassed four takedowns and an escape in the win.

After competing in seven duals in two weekends, Ohio State will take a break from competition for a week. The Buckeyes return to action at 2 p.m. Jan. 24 against Penn State in St. John Arena to open Big Ten Conference action. The match will air on tape delay on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m.     

NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals
No. 3 Ohio State 26, No. 5 Minnesota 12
Jan. 10, 2010
Cedar Falls, Iowa

125 – No. 6 Zach Sanders (Minnesota) dec. Nikko Triggas, 10-3
133 – Ian Paddock dec. Thane Antczak (Minnesota), 6-4
141 – No. 1 Reece Humphrey dec. No. 7 Mike Thorn (Minnesota), 5-3
149 – No. 3 Lance Palmer dec. No. 18 Mario Mason (Minnesota), 7-1  
157 – Tony Jameson mdec. Joseph Grygelko (Minnesota), 18-9
165 – No. 7 Colt Sponseller mdec. Nathan Matousek (Minnesota), 11-1
174 – No. 13 Scott Glasser (Minnesota) dec. No. 20 Dave Rella, 8-3
184 -No. 8 Mike Pucillo wins on forfeit
197 -Sonny Yohn (Minnesota) wins on forfeit Cody Magrum
285 -Corey Morrison dec. Ben Berhow (Minnesota), 9-4