OKLAHOMA CITY -- On Friday afternoon, Andrew Howe came one step closer to a second individual title as he secured a spot in the 174-pound semifinals of the NCAA Championships inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Three other Sooners fell to the consolation bracket, where they will compete tonight.
As a team, the Sooners struggled in the third session, finishing 2-5. They entered the day tied for fourth place with 20.5 points but now sit in tie for ninth with 30 points.
With a 5-2 decision of No. 7 seed Tyler Wilps of Pittsburgh, No. 2 seed Howe moved to the semifinals, which assured him his fourth All-America honor. Howe struck first with a takedown in the opening period. Later in the match, he registered another takedown and an escape and limited Wilps to two escapes en route to capturing the victory.
In tonight’s semifinals, Howe will battle Minnesota’s sixth-seeded Logan Storley. In session three, OU went 2-5, with the only wins coming from Howe and redshirt freshman Ross Larson, who recorded a victory in the heavyweight consolation bracket.
Losing in the quarterfinal round and falling to consolation brackets were Jarrod Patterson, Cody Brewer and Kendric Maple.
No. 6 seed Patterson took to the mat first for the Sooners at 125 pounds. The redshirt senior took on No. 3 seed Nicholas Megaludis of Penn State, falling by a 6-0 decision. Down 2-0, Patterson started the second period on bottom and was not able to escape and gain control.
By a 9-6 decision, No. 13 seed and redshirt sophomore Brewer dropped his bout with No. 5 seed Tyler Graff of Wisconsin. Graff struck first with an opening-period takedown, and Brewer never grabbed the lead.
Brewer entered the third period down 4-1, and with 1:05 remaining, he cut Graff’s lead to 6-4 after registering a takedown. Graff answered with a reversal, followed by another takedown by Brewer. The riding time point gave Graff the three-point win.
In a battle during which neither wrestler could score offensively, No. 4 seed Maple, the 2013 NCAA champ at 141 pounds, fell to Northwestern’s No. 5 seed Jason Tsirtsis in overtime, 2-1. The first period ended with a tie at zero before Maple registered an escape late in the second period. Tsirtsis added an escape of his own in the third, forcing the sudden victory period.
After the first tiebreaker, the score was still knotted at one before Tsirtsis grabbed the advantage with an escape. Maple was unable to escape during the next 30-second period, ending the match.
During the session, four Sooners saw their seasons end with losses in consolation matches, including Nick Lester, Justin DeAngelis, Travis Rutt and Ross Larson.
At 141 pounds, redshirt senior Nick Lester faced Stephen Dutton III of Michigan. Dutton cruised to an 8-0 major decision, eliminating Lester from the tournament. The Eureka, Mo., native finishes his OU career with a 72-46 record, including a 19-13 mark this season. In 2012, he earned All-America status with an eighth-place finish at NCAAs.
Justin DeAngelis, who is from Tulsa, Okla., dropped his bout at 157 pounds to No. 16 seed Zach Brunson from Illinois by decision, 10-5. The redshirt junior finished with a 2-2 mark in his NCAA tournament debut and an 18-7 record for the season.
No. 7 seed Travis Rutt’s collegiate career came to a close in the 197-pound consolation match by injury default following an injury in his Thursday night match. Rutt, who transferred to Oklahoma after three seasons at Wisconsin, tallied an 85-39 mark for his career. In 2011, his junior season at Wisconsin, Rutt became an All-American after placing seventh at the NCAA Championships. This season, he finished with a 22-7 record.
Redshirt freshman Larson caught No. 14 seed Jonathan Gingrich of Penn State in fall in 2:03 to stay alive in his first NCAA tournament appearance. Later in the third session, Larson took on Northwestern's No. 6 seed Michael McMullan. With a takedown, an escape and the riding time point, McMullan defeated Larson by decision, 4-0, eliminating Larson from the tournament. Larson ended his redshirt freshman campaign with a 24-12 record.
Session four, which features semifinal competition, is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT Friday, with matches airing on ESPN. All mats will be available online at ESPN3.com.
Oklahoma’s Session Four Matchups (with tournament seed)
125: No. 6 Jarrod Patterson (OU) vs. No. 16 Joey Dance (Virginia Tech); in consolations
133: No. 13 Cody Brewer (OU) vs. Rosario Bruno (Michigan); in consolations
149: No. 4 Kendric Maple (OU) vs. Justin Arthur (Clarion); in consolations
174: No. 2 Andrew Howe (OU) vs. No. 6 Logan Storley (Minnesota); in semifinals