Third-ranked Oklahoma State benefited from bonus points in two key victories and pulled out a 20-17 victory over the 21st-ranked Gophers on Sunday in a wrestling dual in Stillwater, Okla.
The Cowboys had lost the last three duals between the teams before beating the Gophers in Stillwater for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
The Gophers. 4-4 in November duals, built a 10-6 lead midway through the dual, powered by a major decision from Sam Brancale at 133 pounds and consecutive upsets from Jake Short at 149 pounds and Brandon Kingsley. at 157. Short's 2-1 victory over No. 8 Anthony Collica and Kingsley's 3-2 decision over No. 14 Chance Marstellar were the first victories over ranked opponents for both wrestlers this season. In Short's case, Sunday's win also marked his first dual match of the season after missing several weeks with an injury suffered at the season-opening Daktronics Open.
Coincidentally, injuries played a role in Short's match with Collica. With the score 1-1 and less than 30 seconds remaining, Collica had to request injury time for what appeared to be an ankle issue. Following that timeout, Short was awarded his choice of position, giving him the opportunity to score a late one-point escape.
Following those upsets, Oklahoma State sent its two highest-ranked wrestlers to compete in the next two matches, and both backed up their national rankings with strong performances. First, two-time defending NCAA champion and the nation's top-ranked 165-pounder, Alex Dieringer, defeated Brandon Krone by technical fall. Kronewas making his career dual debut on Sunday afternoon, becoming the sixth Gopher to do so in the team's first eight duals this season.
In the next bout, No. 3 Kyle Crutchmer turned a big lateral drop into a pin against Gophers 174-pounder Jordon Rothers in the closing seconds of the first period. Those results, and the five combined bonus points they produced, turned a 10-6 Gopher lead into a 17-10 deficit, a gap that ultimately proved too much to overcome.
Following a 4-1 decision for the Cowboys' Nolan Boyd over Chris Pfarr at 184, which gave Oklahoma State a 20-10 lead, No. 6 Brett Pfarr (197 pounds) and No. 9 heavyweight Michael Kroells earned a major decision and a decision, respectively, taking a significant bite out of the Cowboys' lead but leaving the Gophers a few points short of the victory.
Kroells was scheduled to take part in one of the afternoon's two headline matches against No. 4 Austin Marsden but, following a flagrant misconduct call during Oklahoma State's dual on Friday night, Marsden was ineligible for Sunday's dual. Kroells instead wrestled Austin Schafer and took a 7-3 decision.
In the dual's other premier showdown, No. 9 Tommy Thorn of the Gophers lost 7-3 to No. 1 Dean Heil at 141.
• St. Thomas will be host to an NCAA Division III football playoff game for the third week in a row when it faces Wabash in a national quarterfinal at noon Saturday at O'Shaughnessy Stadium.