STILLWATER — Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith admitted his Cowboy squad was deflated after losing their first dual of the season last weekend to Minnesota, losing their No. 1 ranking and losing heavyweight Alan Gelogaev to a season-ending injury.
But the now third-ranked Cowboys didn't show it on the mat Friday night. OSU bounced back by trouncing No. 10 Missouri 32-9 in a surprisingly easy win at Gallagher-Iba Arena in the final dual of the season.
Missouri had wrestled OSU much tougher earlier this month in a 22-12 loss to the Cowboys in Columbia, Mo.
On Friday night, Missouri forfeited the first match of the evening when the Tigers' Alan Waters, the No. 3-ranked wrestler in the country at 123 pounds, didn't weigh in. That gave the Cowboys a quick 6-0 lead they would never relinquish.
OSU captured the next three matches as top-ranked Jordan Oliver scored a technical fall at 133 pounds, Josh Kindig pinned his opponent at 141 pounds, and No. 2 and unbeaten Jamal Parks won a 10-3 decision over No. 13 Kyle Bradley.
The Cowboys led 20-0 before Missouri finally won at 157 pounds as No. 19 Drake Houdashelt scored a 2-1 decision over No. 20 Albert White. OSU then won four of the next five matches, including senior Cale Byers' 7-1 upset victory over the fifth-ranked wrestler in the country, Brent Haynes.
“I went into to it knowing I could win,” said Byers, who has been in and out of the Cowboy lineup all season. “I train with the best people in the room so I was ready to go. I am always going to be confident. You want to be in the big matches and score points when the team needs you.”
Also scoring decisions for the Cowboys were third-ranked Chris Perry, a 6-3 winner over No. 15 Dorian Henderson at 174 pounds, Dallas Bailey's 3-1 victory at 165 pounds and freshman Austin Marsden's 3-2 win over No. 20 Devin Mellon.
Marsden was pulled out of redshirt last weekend in the National Duals after Gelogaev tore a pectoral muscle against Oklahoma last week.
“He helped himself a lot to get him to the NCAA championships with that win,” Smith said of Marsden's victory Friday night.
OSU, 17-1, won eight of the 10 matches and completed an unbeaten dual season in the Big 12 conference at 6-0.
“Overall it was a good effort just from the standpoint of being a little bit more aggressive,” Smith said. “I liked what I saw from Bailey.”
Bailey was nursing a knee injury and Smith didn't know what to expect from his 165-pounder.
“It was a nice win for him,” Smith said. “It just seems like it's been a month since he won. Of course, he has wrestled some of the better 165-pounders in the country. Hopefully that will help him get to another level.”
Smith also praised Byers' performance.
“He just looked hungry,” Smith said. “He looked excited. He was out there to compete and not win by one but do what he can to put points on the board. I liked the fact that with the lead he was still looking to score. That match definitely stands out.
“And at 174, even though it ended up 6-3, I liked how hard Chris Perry wrestled. I think he is just trying piece a few things together and he's getting closer and closer to competing like he wants to.”
The Cowboys next travel to Missouri, where they will compete in the Big 12 Championship March 3 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.