The South Dakota State wrestling team, propelled by two pins, tamed the Bears 28-13 on Friday night in Frost Arena.
Instead of the traditional 125-pound start, the two teams drew a starting weight of 165 pounds.
Joe Brewster opened versus Iver Sandoval. Brewster put together an early lead with a takedown in the first period, a lead he would not relinquish. After a few more takedowns and an escape, Brewster scored a 9-5 decision. The Jacks started the dual on top, once again.
At 174 pounds, John Nething II scored another decision for the Jacks versus Jesse Nielsen. Nething II scored a first-period takedown for a 2-0 lead, but was tied at the end of the second. In the third, Nething II escaped for the lead and added a point for riding time advantage for a 4-2 decision.
The Jacks formed a trend, as Shea Nolan opened his match with a takedown versus Keith Johnson. The two battled three periods, alternating takedown attempts, but in the end Nolan's second-period reversal was the difference in a 4-2 decision.
Northern Colorado found the scoreboard in the fourth match with a 16-2 major decision at 197 pounds.
The Bears added a decision at 285 and the two teams entered intermission with the Jacks in front 9-7.
"We were a little upset after the first five matches," head coach Chris Bono said. "We did not feel like we wrestled a complete seven minutes. That is what we preach. We do not want to hold on or protect our lead, we want to wrestle the entire match and let the outcome decide itself. The second half of the dual was much better."
Aaron Pickrel showed his senior leadership at 125 pounds versus Abe Fox. In need of a momentum shift, Pickrel used a takedown, nearfall combination to amass 15 points and only allowed one escape for a 15-1 major decision.
In the 133-pound match, Brance Simms built a big lead with six takedowns in the first period. In the second, Simms was one point away from a tech fall when he put Brandon Gallagher on his back and scored a pin. The result forced Northern Colorado into three must-win matches.
At 141, Ben Gillette posted a sound 9-3 decision versus Nick Adams. The result put the dual out of reach, as SDSU led 22-7 with only two matches remaining.
"Ben is getting better and it showed," said Bono. "Conditioning took over and he believed he could win. He went out, wrestled all seven minutes, his conditioning took over in the third period and he was able to get the win."
Dustin Walraven did not let up in the next match versus Nick Alspaugh. Walraven, ranked No. 31 in the first NCAA coaches' panel rankings, built an 8-0 lead through two periods, but scored another Jackrabbit pin late in the second.
"Walraven had the whole town of Huron here, so he had to perform," Bono said. "He is coming along nicely and we need to prepare him for the home stretch."
The Bears won the final match by pin, but it was not enough
as SDSU won 28-13.
"We wrestled better," said Bono. "We wrestled hard. Some of the positions that we did not score in last meet, we went out and scored points."
SDSU upped its record to 5-10 overall, 1-3 in the Western Wrestling Conference and leapfroged the Bears in the standings. Northern Colorado dropped to 1-8, 0-3 in the conference.
The Jacks continue the five-dual homestand in its final WWC contest versus No. 25 North Dakota State. Dual time is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, in Frost Arena.
"We have a tough weekend coming up," Bono said. "We want the guys to fight for seven minutes. If they do that, we will be happy."
SDSU 28 - Northern
165 - Joe Brewster decision Iver Sandoval (UNC), 9-5 (SDSU 3-0)
174 - John Nething II decision Jesse Nielsen (UNC), 4-2 (SDSU 6-0)
184 - Shea Nolan decision Keith Johnson (UNC), 4-2 (SDSU 9-0)
197 - Cody McAninch (UNC) major decision Joe Skow, 16-2 (SDSU 9-4)
285 - Henry Chirino (UNC) decision J.J. Everard, 8-6 (SDSU 9-7)
125 - Aaron Pickrel major decision Abe Fox (UNC), 15-1 (SDSU 13-7)
133 - Brance Simms pin Brandon Gallagher (UNC), 4:37 (SDSU 19-7)
141 - Ben Gillette decision Nick Adams (UNC), 9-3 (SDSU 22-7)
149 - No. 31 Dustin Walraven pin Nick Alspaugh (UNC), 4:31 (SDSU 28-7)
157 - Mitchell Polkowske (UNC) pin Cody Pack, 3:36 (SDSU wins 28-13)