MINNEAPOLIS -- In front of a sold-out crowd of 5,225 at the Sports Pavilion, the No. 4 Minnesota wrestling team scored a 21-15 win over No. 3 Wisconsin capped off with a 3-2 decision victory by a returning Ben Berhow in the heavyweight match to lock up the win. The Gophers also picked up wins from Zach Sanders, Mike Thorn, Danny Zilverberg and Cody Yohn.
"I think the fans got their money's worth today. We're trying to get better and better each week going into the Big Ten tournament. We made some good progress today, and that's what we're looking for," Minnesota head wrestling coach J Robinson said.
Berhow, a redshirt senior this year for the Gophers, was a late addition to the lineup - replacing an ill Tony Nelson at heavyweight - for the final matchup of the night against No. 11 Eric Bugenhagen with the score sitting at 18-15 in the Gophers' favor. The pair of heavyweights dueled through a scoreless first period before Bugenhagen opened the second period with an escape to take a 1-0 lead. But Berhow, who hadn't wrestled since Dec. 11, would bide his time until the third period, scoring an escape of his own and following up with a takedown in the match's final seconds to jump ahead. Bugenhagen would score a late escape as time expired, giving Berhow a 3-2 decision in the match and the Gophers a 21-15 win in the dual.
"That was really special. I'll remember that the rest of my life," Berhow said. "And with the great crowd...it's fun wrestling for them."
Minnesota (13-3 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) once again opened the dual with a strong showing in the earlier matches. No. 5 Zach Sanders kicked off the afternoon with his 13th-straight dual win, this time taking down Tom Kelliher with an 11-8 decision. The Badgers (9-2-1, 0-0-1) would answer with a decision win in the 133 lbs. match as No. 3 Tyler Graff put together a 9-4 win over David Thorn.
The Gophers would add bonus points in three of the next four matches however as No. 2 Mike Thorn pinned Danny Arnel at 3:42 in the 141 lbs. match, Danny Zilverberg scored a 12-3 major decision over Shawn Perry at 149 lbs. and No. 11 Cody Yohn followed up a 9-3 loss in the 157 lbs. match with a 15-0 technical fall over Ben Cox in the 165 lbs. match.
The Badgers, who remain winless in Big Ten action, would make it interesting over the next three matches however, picking up a trio of decision in the 174-197 lbs. matches to head into the 285 lbs. match with Minnesota nursing an 18-15 lead. Bonus points by Wisconsin would have given the higher-ranked team a come from behind win while a decision would have given Wisconsin its second tie of the season. However, neither result would come as Berhow sent the packed house into a frenzy with the late takedown to seal the win in both the match and the dual.
Minnesota returns to action next Saturday at Ohio State. The dual can be watched live on the Big Ten Network.
No. 4 Minnesota vs. No. 3 Wisconsin
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Minneapolis, Minn. (Sports Pavilion)
125: No. 5 Zach Sanders (MINN) dec. Tom Kelliher (WISC) 11-8
133: No. 3 Tyler Graff (WISC) dec. David Thorn (MINN)9-4
141: No. 2 Mike Thorn (MINN) fall Danny Arnel (WISC) 3:42
149: Danny Zilverberg (MINN) maj. Shawn Perry (WISC) 12-3
157: Kalvin York (WISC) dec. Joe Grygelko (MINN) 9-3
165: No. 11 Cody Yohn (MINN) tech. Ben Cox (WISC) 15-0; 3:27
174: No. 19 Ben Jordan dec. No. 8 Scott Glasser (MINN) 8-4
184: No. 3 Travis Rutt (WISC) dec. No. 9 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) 3-2
197: No. 2 Trevor Brandvold (WISC) dec. Joe Nord (MINN) 8-1
285: Ben Berhow (MINN) dec. No. 11 Eric Bugenhagen (WISC) 3-2