Cowboys use third period dominance to outlast Missouri

Wrestling OSUvMU

Oklahoma State's Wyatt Sheets wrestles University of Missouri's Jarret Jacques on February 2, 2020 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Before the season, John Smith said the team focused on conditioning in the offseason and would continue to do so in practice.

The hard work paid off Sunday as No. 11 Oklahoma State defeated No. 24 Missouri 26-6, outscoring Mizzou in the third period and overtime in eight of the ten matches.

Although the Cowboys won eight matches, the Tigers (10-6, 7-0 MAC) kept it close throughout, with only one being decided with bonus points attached.

No. 4 Nick Piccininni (125) set the tone for the entire dual, defeating his opponent Cameron Valdiviez via tech fall 20-5.

Piccininni outscored Valdiviez 9-0 in the final frame, which gave OSU (10-2 overall, 5-1 Big 12) the momentum it needed throughout the dual.

Wyatt Sheets (157) also used a late surge to win his match, defeating No. 11 Jarrett Jacques 8-6 in the first tie-breaker round.

Sheets trailed late in the third period, but got last-second takedowns in the third period and overtime to complete the upset.

He said he worked hard this week in practice and the extra time helped him later in the match, particularly on his match-winning takedown.

“I got away and he just kind of gave up,” Sheets said, “He just flat out gave up, but it’s good to have that happen, it’s what you want to do to your opponent.”

Anthony Montalvo arguably had the most impressive match of the day, defeating Dylan Wisman 9-5.  He fought off a cradle in the first period without giving up back points, something OSU coach John Smith said changed the momentum of the match.

“He certainly creates a lot of excitement around his matches,” Smith said, “He’s got a big gas tank and he likes to use it.”

Montalvo has said previously that he prides himself on his energy and the fact that no matter how tired he gets; he will continue to press his opponents hard.

He backed that up today, as Montalvo created relentless pressure on Wisman and seemed to get stronger as the match went on.

His win ultimately sealed the dual result for the Cowboys, but Cornelius Putnam (HWT) stole the show at the end.

Putnam won his first match of the season, defeating Jake Bohlken 3-2 in the second tie-breaker round.  Despite Bohlken weighing roughly 25 pounds more than him, Putnam was able to continue the pressure even after more than 10 minutes of action.

Weighing in at 235 pounds, Putnam routinely gives up several pounds to his opponents, but he said it’s something he has prepared for.

“Everybody’s gonna have a weight advantage, I’d expect them to,” Putnam said, “I just need to prepare for that and just get him moving a little more and me being smaller will be my advantage.”

Smith said the team’s performance was good and that he liked that his team was taking a lot of shots, but was frustrated that they couldn’t finish them often enough.

“When you’re forcing takedowns, you may give up one, but you’ll get six or seven,” Smith said, “The one thing I have that is encouraging for now and for the future is that I’ve got guys that’ll work.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com