Nov. 24, 2012
|Wisconsin 24, Northern Iowa 13
UW Field House • Madison, Wis.
• Complete Results
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin wrestling team (3-2) returned home Saturday night in victorious fashion, fending off a Northern Iowa comeback effort in a 24-13 win.
The Badgers jumped out to a 15-3 lead through four matches, but saw the Panthers whittle that down to just a 15-13 advantage after seven matches. But, Wisconsin got three-straight match wins from Dylan Iczkowski at 184 lbs., Jackson Hein at 197 lbs., and Connor Medbery at heavyweight to close out the dual and stave off the Panthers.
Only a season ago, Northern Iowa twice defeated the Badgers, and UW head coach Barry Davis said that his team's win this year is a compliment to the work both his wrestlers and his staff put in over the summer.
"It's about 32 guys buying into what we're doing here at the UW," Davis said. "They're all buying into the skill work we're doing and the training we're doing. That's the whole key right now."
In this season's meeting with Northern Iowa, the momentum was firmly in the Badgers' hands early on as Wisconsin won three of the first four matches.
Matt Cavallaris won by forfeit at 125 lbs. for his first win of the season, No. 8 Tyler Graff pinned his opponent in just over three and a half minutes for the win at 141 lbs. and Cole Schmitt earned a 2-1 decision win at 149 lbs. to stake Wisconsin to its 15-3 lead.
UNI won the next three matches and as a result had the Badgers clinging to a tenuous two-point team lead until a gutty performance from Iczkowski at 184 lbs. turned the tables back in Wisconsin's favor.
Locked in a scoreless match with Northern Iowa's Austin Gelbach after one period, Iczkowski quickly earned an escape to start the second period, but came up in pain with a knee injury. Following the injury time and heading into the final period tied, 2-2, Iczkowski grinded out the rest of the match and earned a ride time advantage point for a win that Davis said "got the ball rolling again" for the Badgers.
"Dylan hurt his knee pretty bad there," Davis said. "For him to go out there and put the pain aside and perform and ride the way he did was great.
"It was a great win and a great effort. To do what he did shows where the program is at and where we are going."
The Badgers never looked back after Iczkowski's win, getting decision wins from Hein and Medbery to close out the team's third victory of the season.
After their wins, both Hein (5-0) and Medbery (4-0) remain undefeated on the season, but the improvement in Hein's wrestling from last year, when he went 10-12, is especially apparent to Davis.
"Coach Trevor Brandvold has done a great job with him so far this year," Davis said of Hein. "Jackson is starting to feel the positions a lot more, which comes from repetition, taking time to visualize his wrestling and building from there."
The Badgers return to action next weekend, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, when they head to Las Vegas to compete in the Cliff Keen Invite.
UW Athletic Communications