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College wrestling: Gophers score key wins mid-match, take down Bison

In a battle between ranked Big Ten and Big 12 teams, Minnesota won four straight in the middle of the match to build an insurmountable lead against NDSU on Friday at the Scheels Center.

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North Dakota State’s Jared Franek wrestles Minnesota’s Brayton Lee at 157 pounds on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo. Franek beat Lee 2-1 in a third overtime.
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FARGO — In a Big Ten-Big 12 battle between ranked teams, four straight wins in the middle of the match helped Minnesota take control and the 10th-ranked Gophers defeated No. 15 North Dakota State 24-9 on Friday at the Scheels Center.

Minnesota led 8-6 four matches in but the Gophers' Garrett Joles, Patrick McKee, Aaron Nagao and Jakob Bergeland won consecutive matches totalling 13 team points and upped the lead to 21-6, an insurmountable advantage with just two matches remaining.

The match began at 165 pounds and the Bison's Michael Caliendo scored the first points of the night with a 5-2 decision over Minnesota's Andrew Sparks.

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North Dakota State’s DJ Parker tries to gain control of Minnesota’s Isaiah Salazar at 184 pounds on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Minnesota took an 8-3 lead when 174-pounder Bailee O'Reilly scored a 4-2 win over NDSU's Gaven Sax and the Gophers' Isaiah Salazar won by tech fall over Deanthony Parker Jr. in seven minutes at 184 pounds.

At 197 pounds, NDSU's Owen Pentz earned a 4-3 decision over Michial Foy for three points that cut the Gophers' advantage to 8-6 four matches in.

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But the Bison would get no closer. At 285 pounds, Joles defeated NDSU's Juan Mora by a 6-2 decision for a 11-6 lead. McKee recorded an 8-0 major decision over the Bison's Carlos Negrete Jr. at 125 pounds to make it 15-6 Gophers.

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North Dakota State’s Michael Caliendo wrestles Minnesota’s Andrew Sparks at 165 pounds on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

At 133 pounds, Nagao decisioned the Bison's McGwire Midkiff 4-2 to put Minnesota up 18-6. Bergeland put the match out of the Bison's reach with a 6-2 decision over Dylan Droegemueller at 141 pounds. That put Minnesota up 21-6 with two matches left.

In the 149 pound match, Minnesota's Michael Blockhus edged Kellyn March 2-1. At 157, in the final match of the night, NDSU's Jared Franek ended the night on an upswing, defeating Brayton Lee 2-1 in overtime.

The Bison are now 2-1 in duals and they have a day off befor playing host to Buffalo at noon Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Scheels Center.

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North Dakota State’s Juan Mora wrestles Minnesota’s Garrett Joles at 285 pounds on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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North Dakota State’s Owen Pentz battles against Minnesota’s Michial Foy at 197 pounds before winning his match on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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North Dakota State’s Gaven Sax wrestles Minnesota’s Bailee O’Reilly at 174 pounds on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex inside the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

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