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    Gophers Use Bonus Point Wins to Hold Off Northwestern

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Head coach Tim Cysewski continues to guide the 'Cats through the Big Ten schedule at Indiana next weekend.
    Head coach Tim Cysewski continues to guide the 'Cats through the Big Ten schedule at Indiana next weekend.

    Feb. 8, 2009

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Facing a top-10-ranked team on the road for the second time in three days, No. 16 Northwestern battled its way to five match victories against No. 8 Minnesota but came up on the short end of an 18-16 decision in Minneapolis Sunday. The Gophers scored bonus points in three wins compared to NU's one major decision to account for the final scoring differential.

    Minnesota entered Sunday's contest coming off a close loss to Michigan on Friday, a team Northwestern tied, 17-17, on Jan. 31.

    Following an opening-bout major decision by Minnesota's Scott Glasser at 165, NU's Robert Kellogg put the Wildcats on the board with a thrilling 5-3 decision in sudden victory against the Gophers' Kaleb Young at 174. Kellogg's winning points came on a takedown just 38 seconds into the extra session.

    Northwestern then took a 7-4 team lead thanks to a 16-5 major decision by senior Jake Herbert. His opponent, Sonny Yohn, kept the score close through the first period at 4-1, but Herbert soon began piling up the takedowns on his way to his 23rd victory this season and the 138th of his illustrious career.

    With the Gophers ahead 11-7, third-ranked Brandon Precin took on No. 7 Zach Sanders at 125, a duo that entered Sunday's match with a combined record of 43-2 on the year. The match proved to be a compelling one, with Precin gaining a 6-0 advantage on a near-fall early in the third. Sanders did not quit, however, and picked up three points on a near-fall of his own as the last seconds ticked off the clock. His back points tied the score at seven, but Precin's riding time advantage gave him the point he needed to edge Sanders and collect three points for the 'Cats.



    After facing No. 3 Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois on Friday, junior Eric Metzler squared off against fourth-ranked Jayson Ness, who has moved up to 133 following his success at 125 a year ago. Ness built an eight-point lead and netted four critical points for Minnesota. No. 8 Mike Thorn followed his lead at 141 with a 5-1 decision against No. 16 Keith Sulzer to give the Gophers an 18-10 advantage.

    The differential proved to be too great for the Wildcats to overcome despite wins at 149 by Andrew Nadhir and at 157 by No. 14 Jason Welch. The freshman wrestled his way to an impressive 10-3 victory over 17th-ranked Tyler Safratowich but could not notch the bonus points necessary to draw Northwestern even. 

    NU remains on the road next weekend for a date at Indiana before returning to Welsh-Ryan Arena for the final weekend of Big Ten regular-season action against Ohio State and top-ranked Iowa.

    No. 8 Minnesota 18, No. 16 Northwestern 16
    165: Scott Glasser (MN) maj. dec. Kyle Bertin (NU), 12-3 (4-0 MN)
    174: Robert Kellogg (NU) dec. Kaleb Young (MN), 5-3;SV2 (4-3 MN)
    184: #1 Jake Herbert (NU) maj. dec. Sonny Yohn (MN), 16-5 (7-4 NU)
    197: Gordon Bierschenk (MN) dec. Jake Schoen (NU), 3-2 (7-7)
    Hwt: #19 Ben Berhow (MN) maj. dec. Paul Rands (NU), 16-5 (11-7 MN)
    125: #3 Brandon Precin (NU) dec. #7 Zach Sanders (MN), 8-7 (11-10 MN)
    133: #4 Jayson Ness (MN) maj. dec. Eric Metzler (NU), 12-4 (15-10 MN)
    141: #8 Mike Thorn (MN) dec. #16 Keith Sulzer (NU), 5-1 (18-10 MN)
    149: Andrew Nadhir (NU) dec. Joe Grygelko (MN), 4-3 (18-13 MN)
    157: #14 Jason Welch (NU) dec. #17 Tyler Safratowich (MN), 10-3 (18-16 MN)