Junior heavyweight Gable Steveson got a quick pin to clinch the Gophers' 25-13 victory over Illinois on Friday at Maturi Pavilion and remain unbeaten himself this season.
Top-ranked Steveson is 7-0 with a 24-match winning streak going back to last season. He pinned Luke Loffman, ranked No. 9 by InterMat, in 34 seconds.
No. 14 Minnesota (5-2) trailed No. 9 Illinois 10-3 after four matches — the one Gophers win was by Patrick McKee, 4-2 at 125 points — before Brayton Lee and Andrew Sparks got consecutive technical falls at 157 and 165 pounds.
No. 6 Lee beat Johnny Mologousis 26-8 and Sparks dominated Luke Odom 22-7, putting the Gophers ahead 13-10.
At 174, Jake Allar of the Gophers won 8-3, and at 184, teammate Own Webster also won, edging No. 8 Zac Braunagel 3-2. Illinois won a decision at 197 — Garrett Joles lost in overtime — to close within 19-13.
That left it up to Steveson, who improved his career record in dual meets to 36-0 and his career record to 57-2.
Minnesota has won eight of its past nine meetings with Illinois, who last won in this rivalry on Feb. 12, 2016.