Gophers nearly flawless wrestling buries Indiana

Gophers wrestling dominated Indiana 34-3 in their final home match at Maturi Pavilion this season.

Gable Steveson competes during the match against the University of Maryland on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at Maturi Pavilion. The Gophers beat Maryland 45-0.

Elle Moulin

Gable Steveson competes during the match against the University of Maryland on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at Maturi Pavilion. The Gophers beat Maryland 45-0.

David Mullen

For the second straight week, the Gophers’ wrestling team dominated a conference opponent.

This time, the Gophers took down the Indiana Hoosiers, walking away with nine individual match victories, including five bonus point victories that led to a 34-3 win.

“This is a good time to have momentum, and I think our guys are wrestling well,” head coach Brandon Eggum said. 

Minnesota (14-3, 7-2 Big Ten) began the dual winning six straight matches. The only loss of the day came in overtime. 

The dual started differently than others, with 133-pound No. 8 Ethan Lizak starting off for the Gophers and getting the momentum rolling. 

After the first period, Lizak was up 10-0 after two four-point near falls and a takedown. His momentum carried throughout the match as he won in a 19-11 major decision, putting the Gophers ahead 4-0 to start the dual.

No. 10 Mitch McKee followed suit in a hard-fought match, taking the lead early with a takedown, an escape and a two-point near fall.

Indiana’s Kyle Luigs fought hard in the match, getting two late points, but it wasn’t enough, and McKee won in an 8-5 decision. 

No. 19 Tommy Thorn followed and dominated his opponent. After getting an early four-point near fall, Thorn never looked back and won in an 11-2 major decision that put Minnesota up 11-0 in the dual.

In the first ranked match of the afternoon, the Gophers’ No. 8 Steve Bleise took care of business against Jake Danishek. After a near stalemate in the opening period, Bleise took charge and achieved the first takedown of the match with just over 40 seconds left.

A few points were exchanged in the second period, but Bleise ultimately prevailed in an 8-3 decision after a takedown and a two-point near fall. 

The Gophers’ 165-pound Carson Brolsma followed suit after getting a takedown in the first 45 seconds, finishing ahead 2-0 after the first period. In the second period, Brolsma pulled ahead after a quick escape and never looked back. He acquired five points throughout the second period and 16 points in the final period, winning by a technical fall 21-5. The Gophers went into the halftime break ahead 19-0.

In his first match-up against his former team, it was No. 12 Devin Skatzka’s turn to go against the Hoosiers. At 174, he didn’t waste any time getting three quick points, which was enough to put the match away. He eventually won in an 8-3 decision, and said going into the match he was nervous but wanted to win at any cost. 

“I was definitely anxious and no one wants to lose to their old team,” Skatzka said. “I enjoyed it.”

Brandon Krone was up next for Minnesota. He got taken down early and trailed 2-1 for most of the match. However, his opponent Norman Conley was called for stalling with 32 seconds left in the third period, which tied the match up at 2 and sent the two into overtime. 

Conley took down Krone with just over 30 seconds remaining and gave the Gophers their only match loss of the dual. 

At 197, Dylan Anderson got the team back in the win column after a back-and-forth match that wouldn’t be decided until the final period. Heading into the third, he was ahead 2-1 but scored several more points and won a 7-4 decision.

Top-ranked Gable Steveson buried his opponent in a 20-5 technical fall win after seven takedowns and two four-point near falls. This is the freshman’s 27th consecutive victory, which puts his streak tied at 14th for the best winning streak in Gophers history.

The dual was capped off by No. 6 Sean Russell defeating No. 17 Elijah Oliver in a 13-2 major decision that gave the Gophers a 34-3 final.

Minnesota returns to action Thursday as it hosts Rider at Northrop Auditorium.