No. 5 Iowa wrestling finished its first Big Ten wrestling weekend with a flourish, getting the last drops of juice out of a 29-9 win over No. 21 Purdue.
“I think we need to put a couple more exclamation points on the end of a couple of these matches,” sophomore Mike Evans said.
Evans had an exclamation point, pinning Chad Welch in 4:52 at 174 pounds.
Iowa coach Tom Brands also enjoyed the way a few other Hawkeyes finished their matches.
Eighth-ranked Mark Ballweg got some back points early at 141 pounds, and when he had the chance late in the third period, he got the final takedown to make it a 22-7 technical fall over Purdue sophomore Brandon Nelson. It was the 50th win of his career.
No. 19 Nick Moore led the entire match against sophomore Pat Robinson of Purdue, but had two aggressive third-period takedowns, including one in the final seconds, to turn a decision into a major decision 11-4.
“I like seeing energy,” Brands said. “It’s not how many takedowns … (Moore) had a takedown at the end there to get a major. That’s bonus points. Ballweg’s back points … that pleases me in that match.
“It’s about wrestling the match to get done team point-wise what we need to get done, regardless.”
Overall, Iowa (12-0, 2-0) had seven wins to three losses in the victory over Purdue (10-3, 1-1) on Sunday afternoon before 6,043 fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It marked the 26th straight win over the Boilermakers.
The Hawkeyes enjoyed a 35 to 4 advantage in takedowns against the Boilermakers. Ballweg led the way withn nine and Ethen Lofthouse had seven in a 16-4 major decision at 184.
“Just get as many as possible,” Ballweg said of takedowns.
“That’s what we try to do every match,” Evans said.
Sophomore Matt Gurule took a turn at 125 pounds for top-ranked Matt McDonough, who got the day off.
“The coaches needed help,” Brands said. “He was on track, I just didn’t have him weigh in today.”
Gurule lost 4-2 to No. 17 Camden Eppert at 125. Unranked redshirt freshhman Brody Grothus lost 10-9 to No. 13 Ivan Lopouchanski at 149. And unranked freshman Nathan Burak lost 4-1 to No. 17 Braden Atwood at 197.
Otherwise the day belonged to the Hawkeyes.
“If you look at the whole team’s performance, there’s lots of room for improvement,” Ballweg said. “We need to fine tune some things, be sharper.”
Iowa has a week to clean things up before a trip to Stillwater, Okla., and a showdown with No. 2 Oklahoma State on Jan. 13.
“You’re looking at a guy now that’s way past this meet,” Brands said in the post-match press conference. “Oklahoma State is next.”