STILLWATER — Coming off its fourth dual loss this season, the Oklahoma State wrestling team needed something to feel good about.
The ninth-ranked Cowboys got it Friday night, putting together their most complete dual performance of the season with a 29-3 win over No. 18 Iowa State at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
OSU (5-4, 2-1 in the Big 12) won nine of the 10 matches against Iowa State (6-3, 1-2), including bonus-point victories from No. 5 Jon Morrison at 133 pounds and No. 3 Alex Dieringer at 157 pounds.
“It's definitely good to get back on the right track with a win over a conference opponent,” Morrison said. “Iowa State is always pretty solid, so anytime you win nine out of 10 matches against them I think it's a pretty good sign. It's good we were able to bounce back after last weekend, and hopefully we can start stringing together some more wins now.”
The four losses this season, with the latest coming last Sunday at No. 13 Pitt, equaled as many as OSU had in the three previous seasons combined. After three of the four came by one point, the Cowboys have put an emphasis behind picking up bonus-point wins.
“Three duals we've lost by one point, so the veterans on the team have to continue to figure out how to work towards bonus-point wins,” Morrison said. “I'm going to continue to work towards that for the team, and it's also very valuable going into the postseason. That's not just how duals are won, but that's also how team national (tournament) titles are won.”
Even in the win, coach John Smith felt the Cowboys didn't show the aggressive style he's looking for throughout the lineup.
“I think we can take something out of this match, but we're a long ways from being a national title contender,” Smith said. “Maybe two months ago I would've told you different, but right now we're a long ways from it. It's not something that can't happen for us, but we've got to make sure we compete in all positions, at all times, for seven minutes.
“I do believe this is a team that needs to find some wins, and some consistency with wins, so I think this gives a chance to maybe get on a roll.”
In OSU's one loss of the night, it nearly pulled off a big upset. Wrestling up two weight classes, unranked Kyle Crutchmer fell 3-1 on a takedown in the final 30 seconds to Iowa State's second-ranked Kyven Gadson at 197 pounds.
“He's a stud,” Smith said of Crutchmer. “You've got to give him credit. I respect it. He finds himself up two weights and finding ways to battle against some of the better guys in the country.”