Iowa wrestler Michael Kemerer wrestles against Illinois’ Kyle Langenderfer during a meet at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini 18-17. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Second half saves Iowa wrestling

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Iowa wrestling dug itself into a hole for the second week in a row, then fended off Rutgers to improve to 6-0.

By James Geerdes

james-geerdes@uiowa.edu

Iowa sealed a 23-15 victory over Rutgers on Dec. 8 in Piscataway, New Jersey, but not after some early disappointments.

Head coach Tom Brands’ squad had its proverbial back against an immovable wall for the second week in a row after it lost the first three weights.

Justin Stickley was punished at 125 and lost by tech fall to No. 2 Nick Suriano to put Iowa down, 7-0.

Paul Glynn got the call for Iowa at 133 but lost by major decision, 12-4, to No. 13 Scott DelVecchio.

Freshman Carter Happel made his Iowa début at 141 pounds but lost by decision, 3-2. Iowa was down, 12-0.

Iowa’s powerful middle of the lineup then took over. No. 2 Brandon Sorensen claimed Iowa’s first victory at 149, 4-1. No. 3 Michael Kemerer emphatically followed with a tech fall over Rutgers’ Brett Donner, 25-8, to make the score 12-8, Rutgers.

That powerful Hawkeye middle is now seemingly stronger with the addition of freshman Alex Marinelli. The long-awaited début of the 165-pounder did not disappoint Hawkeye fans against Rutgers. The freshman silenced the Scarlet Knight crowd by winning in overtime against No. 9 Richie Lewis to start his college career.

Joey Gunther kept the ball rolling for Iowa with a 5-4 win over Joe Grello to put the Hawkeyes on top, 14-12.

The Scarlet Knights finally halted the Hawkeye momentum when No. 9 Nicholas Gravina topped Mitch Bowman by decision, 4-0, to put Rutgers back up, 15-14.

Iowa avoided the upset bid with a Cash Wilcke win by decision at 197 and, yes, another Sam Stoll pin at heavyweight.

The Hawkeyes will wrestle again at noon Dec. 10, seeking to improve to 7-0 at Maryland.

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