Badgers drop season-finale to No. 4 Minnesota, 34-5


Feb. 10, 2013

18 Wisconsin 5, 4 Minnesota 34
UW Field House • Madison, Wis.
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• Referee: Steve Skarda |  Attendance: 991
 Individual Results
Wt. Result MIN WIS
125 #13 David Thorn (MIN) fall Matt Cavallaris (WIS), 2:42 6 0
133 #5 Tyler Graff (WIS) tech fall Cody Hodowanic (MIN), 18-2, 5:38 6 5
141 #10 Nick Dardanes (MIN) dec. Tom Kelliher (WIS), 8-2 9 5
149 #9 Dylan Ness (MIN) maj dec. Cole Schmitt (WIS), 10-0 13 5
157 Danny Zilverberg (MIN) dec. Kalvin York (WIS), 5-4 16 5
165 #14 Cody Yohn (MIN) dec. Frank Cousins (WIS), 6-1 19 5
174 #1 Logan Staley (MIN) dec. Scott Liegel (WIS), 4-3     22 5
184 #5 Kevin Steinhaus (MIN) vs. FFT       28 5
197 #12 Scott Schiller (MIN) dec. #17 Jackson Hein (WIS), 6-1 SV 31 5
HWT #2 Tony Nelson (MIN) dec. Connor Medbery (WIS), 9-2 34 5
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MADISON, Wis. -- In its final tune-up before the postseason, the No. 18 Wisconsin wrestling team (7-6, 4-4 Big Ten) was unable to overcome fourth-ranked Minnesota (13-2, 7-1), falling, 34-5, Sunday at the UW Field House.

No. 5 Tyler Graff (133 lbs.) closed out his strong season with Wisconsin's only match win on the afternoon, earning a technical fall over the Gophers' Cody Honowanic, 18-2. The win is Graff's eleventh of the season in dual competitions and his seventh in the Big Ten.

The win by technical fall is also Graff's fourth extra point victory in a row and his fifth in his past six decisions.

 Fast Facts
• No. 5 Tyler Graff (133 lbs.) earns UW's only win on the day with a technical fall.
• No. 11 HWT Connor Medbery suffers his first loss in a dual competition this season.
• Wisconsin finishes the regular season with a 4-4 Big Ten record and a 7-6 record overall.

While the final score may not reflect it, there were a number of close matches between the Badgers and Gophers. Four of the matches were decided by five points or less, and while the dual didn't go his team's way, Wisconsin head coach Barry Davis said he was impressed with the way the Badgers competed.

"We had four guys that could have won," Davis said. "I liked the way our guys competed and put themselves in a position to win. They walked out there and expected to compete and expected to win."

One of the afternoon's closest matches was at 174 lbs., where the Badgers' Scott Liegel took Minnesota's top-ranked Logan Storley down to the wire. Liegel held a two-point advantage, 3-1, over Storley with just 45 seconds left, but was unable to secure the upset. Storley earned a takedown in the waning seconds to tie the score and won with the riding time point in hand.

Liegel's match was a microcosm of the dual as a whole for the Badgers, as Wisconsin put itself in good position in a number of matches, but was unable to overcome the fourth-ranked Gophers.

"We didn't convert on the close matches today and it showed," Davis said of his team's effort. "Earlier in the year we were winning those close matches, now we're not. So, we have to get back to winning those again. If we can do that we can be more successful."

In arguably the dual's most anticipated match, Wisconsin's No. 11 ranked heavyweight, Connor Medbery, saw his undefeated dual season come to an end at the hands of Minnesota's No. 2-ranked, and defending NCAA heavyweight champion, Tony Nelson.

After battling to a scoreless first period, the momentum of that match swung in the second when Nelson was able to use an offensive shot from Medbery in his favor, defending it and turning it into a takedown and three-point near fall.

Wisconsin ends Big Ten season with a 4-4 conference record, a vast improvement over the team's winless mark from a season ago. But, while his team come a long way this season, Davis knows that there is still work to be done as the Badgers prepare for postseason play.

"We're right there," Davis said. "I see growth in this team. It wasn't our best match, but overall, on the season, we've gotten a lot better from last year from all different perspectives, but there's still a ways to go."

Wisconsin returns to action next weekend, and begins postseason tournament play, next weekend at the NWCA National Duals in Kent, Ohio, where the Badgers will compete against Kent State, Oklahoma State and Northern Iowa. Round one begins at 12 p.m., with round two following at 2 p.m.

--

Ryan Evans
UW Athletic Communications

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