COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri's Drake Houdashelt and Zach Toal knocked off No. 1 seeds, and teammates Alan Waters and Mike Larson won titles as expected Saturday night to give the Tigers their first Big 12 Conference wrestling championship.
The Tigers scored 77 points, while favored Oklahoma State was second with 73. Oklahoma made a strong consolation charge to finish third with 60.5, and Iowa State was fourth at 25.
Four Cowboys claimed individual crowns: Jordan Oliver, Jamal Parks, Chris Perry and Cayle Byers. Oliver (24-1) won his third straight and was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler. Parks (30-0) also won his third straight, and Perry (26-0) claimed his second.
But Oklahoma State failed to take advantage of four opportunities in the semifinals and third-place matches and fell short. In five matches through the semis and third-place bouts, Cowboys led or were tied, only to lose in the final seconds of regulation or overtime.
“I thought we wrestled pretty well in eight, maybe nine weights,” said OSU head coach John Smith. “It's a four-team tournament, so you know things are a little different. We should have won a couple of more matches earlier in the day, but you're gonna lose some of those on the road.”
Oklahoma State finally needed an upset of No. 1 seed Matt Gibson (21-8) at heavyweight to tie the team score, but the Iowa State junior easily handled Cowboy freshman Austin Marsden (25-3), 8-3, to close it out for the Tigers.
Oklahoma's Kendrick Maple (28-1) continued his standout season with an 11-5 romp past OSU's Josh Kindig at 141 pounds. The Sooner sophomore struck for three first-period takedowns and never looked back, adding a fourth takedown in the second at 1:44 riding time.
Oklahoma made a strong 35.5-point run through the third-place matches, thanks to seven straight victories and 7.5 bonus points. Four of those came when Iowa State's second-seeded Chris Spangler forfeited to fourth seed Kyle Detmer, and Missouri's third-seeded heavyweight, Devon Mellon, defaulted after injuring a hamstring against OU's fourth-seeded Kyle Colling.