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Gophers beat Arizona State 22-16

While Minnesota’s wrestling team avoided an upset versus No. 18 Arizona State on Tuesday night, its second-ranked heavyweight was unable to do the same.

After being beaten by No. 1 Oklahoma State on Sunday afternoon, seventh-ranked Minnesota took to the mats in Tempe, Ariz., just two days later and defeated Arizona State 22-16.

Minnesota won six of the 10 individual matches to improve its dual meet record to 1-1. But one of the four bouts that got away from the Gophers was at heavyweight, where No. 2 Cole Konrad dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 6 Cain Velasquez.

Konrad scored the only offensive points of the match with a first-period takedown of Velasquez and was leading 3-2 with a minute left in the match.

In that last minute, Konrad was hit with his second and third stalling calls of the third period to give Velasquez two points and a 4-3 victory.

It was Konrad’s second loss of the season, with his only other defeat coming Sunday to top-ranked Steve Mocco of Oklahoma State.

But not all was lost.

“I think the guys did a good job,” assistant coach Joe Russell said. “It was a quick turnaround from the Oklahoma State dual.”

For many of the Minnesota wrestlers, it was their first time wrestling dual meets back-to-back in such a short time span.

“I think it helped build confidence and will help down the road,” redshirt freshman Roger Kish said.

Redshirt freshman Gabriel Dretsch, making his dual meet debut, won a 19-8 major decision against Rick Renzi at 174 pounds, where he was wrestling for senior Jon Duncombe.

“I thought I did pretty well,” Dretsch said. “I was a little more nervous than I should have been. But as the match went on, I got more relaxed.”

Duncombe made the jump to 197 pounds to wrestle in Matt Koz’s spot. Koz did not travel with the team to Arizona so he could concentrate on class work.

Duncombe was staying close in his match against fifth-ranked Ryan Bader and lost by the score of 4-2, keeping bonus points off the board at 197.

Kish avenged two of his four losses from his redshirt season last year when he beat No. 7 C.B. Dollaway 5-0 at 184 pounds.

“It was just a pretty good match, I had a good strategy,” Kish said.

Sixth-ranked senior Bobbe Lowe improved his season record to 15-0 at 125, topping No. 11 Jeremy Mendoza 5-3.

The Gophers wrestle next at 2 p.m. Sunday in Rochester, Minn., in a dual versus Northern Iowa.

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