MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Tony Ramos and Nick Moore couldn’t quite top off bonus-point victories Saturday afternoon that would’ve taken calculators and criteria lists out of play inside Williams Arena.
But both were big winners and their one-sided victories gave fourth-ranked Iowa the extra push it needed to top No. 3 Minnesota 16-15 on criteria in front of 8,254 fans.
The two teams split 10 decisions, but the Hawkeyes won on the third criteria for breaking dual ties – match points. The Hawkeyes tallied 41, the Gophers scored 33.
“It’s a team win,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said. (Listen to his full post-match press conference here.) “I don’t know if it means much, except that it moves you forward (in the rankings).”
Ramos and Moore played co-starring roles in the win for the Hawkeyes.
Second-ranked Ramos handled No. 9 Chris Dardanes 8-2 in a battle of returning all-Americans at 133 pounds. The Iowa junior closed out the first and second periods with takedowns, but Ramos couldn’t finish a shot in the final 25 seconds for a major decision.
Moore, a sophomore ranked 18th, throttled No. 10 Cody Yohn 8-2 at 165, putting himself in position for bonus points on a pair of takedowns and a two-point near-fall before giving up a late reversal.
“Those matches, in a lot of people’s minds, should be close,” Brands said. “We did some really good things there to control those matches. I don’t want to nitpick here, but get the bonus points when you can in those two bouts.”
The Hawkeyes (15-1, 5-0 Big Ten) won five of the first six matches, including ninth-ranked Mark Ballweg’s 3-1 victory at 141 against No. 10 Nick Dardanes in the dual’s first toss-up bout on paper.
Ballweg scored on a double-leg with 24 seconds remaining to pull out the victory.
“That was a big win, but I don’t know how good you could feel about it because he was kind of coming after me the whole time,” Ballweg said. “I kind of gutted out the win, but it’s not really the way you like to win.”
The Gophers (11-2, 5-1) swept the last four matches, winning three in down-to-the-wire fashion.
Minnesota’s second-ranked Logan Storley fought off No. 6 Mike Evans in the closing seconds to win a 4-3 decision at 174. Scott Schiller, ranked No. 12 at 197, fended off a series of shots by Iowa freshman Nathan Burak before scoring a takedown with two seconds left in overtime to win 3-1.
Defending NCAA champion Tony Nelson rode fifth-ranked Bobby Telford for most of the third period to pull out a 2-1 win at heavyweight.
“We’re losing close matches not because we’re running or protecting or running out of gas,” Brands said. “We’re losing them because we’re not finishing, we’re not putting an exclamation mark on our hold, so to speak.”
125: McDonough (IA) dec. Thorn, 6-3
133: Ramos (IA) dec. C. Dardanes, 8-2
141: Ballweg (IA) dec. N. Dardanes, 3-1
149: Ness (M) dec. Kelly, 8-2
157: St. John (IA) dec. Zilverberg, 6-2
165: Moore (IA) dec. Yohn, 8-2
174: Storley (M) dec. Evans, 4-3
184: Steinhaus (M) dec. Lofthouse, 6-3
197: Schiller (M) dec. Burak, 3-1 (SV)
Hwt: Nelson (M) dec. Telford, 2-1.