March 22, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The third session of the NCAA division I Wrestling Championships came to a close on Friday morning. Three Sooners are still alive in the action, including Kendric Maple in the championship bracket. Both Cody Brewer (133) and Bubby Graham (165) are continuing their run in wrestlebacks in an attempt to earn All-America honors.
Maple put together a noteworthy performance in the third session, as remained alive in the championship bracket, advanced to tonight's semifinals and locked up All-American honors with a 12-3 major decision over Iowa's No. 7 Mark Ballweg en route to his 100th career win in the Crimson and Cream. With the victory, he becomes the first Sooner under head coach Mark Cody to reach the century marker in the win column.
The match began relatively slow, with neither wrestler adding points to their name until the final seconds when Maple added a takedown and two-point nearfall to lead 4-0. Iowa challenged the nearfall points, but the call remained in Oklahoma's favor to retain Maple's lead headed into the second period - where neither Maple nor Ballweg added points to their name.
Maple never dropped his lead in the final two minutes, which saw him add a reversal, two takedowns, an escape and riding time to clinch the victory and remain undefeated on the year. He'll face The Citadel's Undrakhbayer Khishignyam - the No. 6 seed at 141 pounds - who upset Oregon State's No. 3 seed, Michael Mangrum in the quarterfinals.
Redshirt freshman Cody Brewer - OU's second wrestler in the championship bracket - fell into wrestleback action after suffering a tech fall in 3:42 (17-1) against defending NCAA Champion and the No. 1 seed at 133 pounds - Ohio State's Logan Stieber in the 133-pound quarterfinal bout.
Stieber totaled six takedowns in the first period to go up 14-1, and secured the tech fall early in the second with another takedown and advantage point to reach the 17-point barrier in 3:42 of action. Brewer will take to the mat against Penn State's No. 12 Jordan Conaway.
Oklahoma's lone senior in Des Moines, Bubby Graham, kept his trek to All-America honors alive on Friday with a narrow 5-4 decision over Pitt's Tyler Wilps.
Graham was first on the scoreboard with a late takedown in the first, followed by a Wilps escape to lead 2-1 heading into the second period. The Panther evened it out at 2-2 all with an escape in the second, but Graham gained the two-point advantage with another takedown. Wilps brought the grapple within one at 4-3 to end the second. Graham would put together just one more escape and limit Wilps to one escape of his own to earn the right to wrestle for a second time on Friday morning.
Following his first morning session, Graham met a familiar foe in Missouri's Zach Toal in his second wrestleback match of the day. Graham held the momentum in the first two periods, with a 3-1 lead over the Tiger heading into the final two minutes of wrestling. Toal refused to be quieted in the third period, and countered with an escape and takedown to take the lead at 4-3. With his wrestling career dwindling down, Graham acted quickly with a reversal in the closing seconds of regulation to remain alive in the consolation bracket.
Graham will meet UVA's No. 8 Nicholas Sulzer in fourth-round action later tonight.
Two Sooners ended their NCAA journey on Friday morning in Nick and Matt Lester. Nick Lester fell out of NCAA action after he suffered a fall in 0:59 to Edinboro's David Habat at 149 pounds, while 157-pounder Matt Lester dropped a 4-1 decision to Rutger's Scott Winston to conclude his time in Des Moines.
Session four will begin at 6 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
||NCAA Third Session Championship Results
133: No. 1 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) tech fall No. 8 Cody Brewer (OU), 3:42 (17-1)
141: No. 2 Kendric Maple (OU) major dec. No. 7 Mark Ballweg (Iowa), 12-3
||NCAA Third Session Wrestleback Results
149: David Habat (Edinboro) fall Nick Lester (OU), 0:59
157: Scott Winston (Rutgers) dec. Matt Lester (OU), 4-1
165: No. 6 Bubby Graham (OU) dec. Tyler Wilps (Pitt), 5-4
165: No. 6 Bubby Graham (OU) dec. Zach Toal (Missouri), 5-4
||NCAA Semifinal Championship Matchups
141: No. 2 Kendric Maple (29-0) vs. No. 6 Undrakhbayer Khishignyam (Citadel, 41-4)
||NCAA Fourth Session Wrestleback Matchups
133: No. 8 Cody Brewer (23-7) vs. Jordan Conaway (PSU, 18-9)
165: No. 6 Bubby Graham (24-5) vs. No. 8 Nicholas Sulzer (UVA, 26-9)