Iowa scored bonus points in three wins, including a pair of first-period falls by Spencer Lee and Alex Marinelli, but it was a decision at 133 pounds that stole the show.
Eighth-ranked Austin DeSanto scored a takedown with 1.5 seconds left in the third period to rally past No. 3 Nick Suriano, 6-4, at 133 pounds.
DeSanto trailed 3-0 in the second before chipping away with consecutive escapes and two stalling points to grab a 4-3 lead. With Suriano owning over one minute of riding time, the match looked destined for sudden victory, but DeSanto continued to apply pressure and secured the winning takedown on the edge of the mat in the final seconds.
“I got to my tie and he blocked me off with his fingers when we were going at it,” DeSanto said. “Once I got that tie, I hit it. It kind of surprised me a bit because I need to fire more shots. I cut that corner, and I’ve really been working on that finish.”
That finish gave DeSanto his second straight win over a previous NCAA finalist (he defeated sixth-ranked Ethan Lizak on Jan. 13 at Minnesota).
“We’ve served a notice now and the cat is out of the bag,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “It’s no secret that we’re getting better and can go seven minutes.”
DeSanto used every second of his seven minute match. The opening act, 125-pounder Spencer Lee, used just 38 seconds of his mat time. Lee led 6-0 15 seconds into the match before turning a second tilt into his second fall of the season, this one in a career-best 38 seconds.
“I get ready for every match like it’s the biggest match in the world,” Lee said. “I can do that and I will continue to do that.”
That fall was the first of two Iowa pins and the first of three bonus-point wins. Marinelli scored three takedowns in 70 seconds before securing a fall at 165 in 2:17. It was his second straight pin, and his career-high sixth of the season.
Sam Stoll looked strong while making his fourth appearance of the season. The senior All-American, ranked No. 3 at 285, scored a takedown in each period to win by 10-0 major decision.
Iowa won five matches by decision, including Kaleb Young’s 5-2 win against No. 14 John Van Brill. It was Iowa’s second win of the night against a ranked opponent. In the only other match featuring ranked opponents, No. 12 Pat Lugo dropped an overtime decision to No. 2 Anthony Ashnault, 3-1. It was Lugo’s sixth loss of the season, all by three points or fewer, and three of them to the top two ranked wrestlers in the country.
“Lugo is feeling better out there and he’s becoming more seasoned,” Brands said. “He’s adjusted to Iowa and loves it, but now is the time to start to think about these close matches and how to put them away.”
The Hawkeyes improved to 5-0 at home, 8-0 overall, and 3-0 in the Big Ten. The 24-point margin of victory matches the largest in series history against Rutgers.
Iowa wrestles at Illinois on Friday, Jan. 25, and at Northwestern on Sunday, Jan. 27. Iowa’s dual at Illinois is televised live on BTN.
125 — #2 Spencer Lee (IA) pinned Nick Denora (R), 0:38; 6-0
133 — #8 Austin DeSanto (IA) dec. #3 Nick Suriano (R) 6-4; 8-0*
141 — #15 Max Murin (IA) dec. Peter Lipari (R), 8-4; 11-0
149 — #2 Anthony Ashnault (R) dec. 10 Pat Lugo (IA), 3-1; 11-3
157 — #5 Kaleb Young (IA) dec. #14 John Van Brill (R)
165 — #2 Alex Marinelli (IA) pinned Anthony Oliveri (R), 2:17; 20-3
174 — Joseph Grello (R) dec. Mitch Bowman (IA), 7-3; 20-6
184 — #14 Cash Wilcke (IA) dec. Willie Scott (R), 6-1; 23-6
197 — #6 Jacob Warner (IA) dec. Matthew Correnti (R), 6-0; 26-6
285 — #3 Sam Stoll (IA) major dec. Christian Colucci (R), 10-0; 30-6
Records: Iowa (8-0, 3-0), #20 Rutgers (7-4, 1-2)
*Iowa was deducted one team point following the 133-pound match