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Cowboys win despite offensive struggles

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Boo Lewallen battles against his opponent during the Oklahoma State vs. Princeton wrestling match, on Dec 6, 2019, at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Earlier in the week, Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith was adamant that his team had to improve its first-period offense if it wanted to be successful.

However, OSU once again struggled to get any offense going, particularly in the first and second periods, in its 18-15 defeat against Princeton on Friday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“It wasn’t so much about not getting takedowns or not doing something in particular, it was just the attitude,” Smith said. “We just didn’t seem to put it together.”

The Cowboys only managed six takedowns in the 10 matches.  The offensive side of the mat remained the Cowboys’ greatest issue.

“You gotta score takedowns,” Smith said. “We really need to focus on creating a better attitude in these types of environments.”

However, not all of the Cowboys struggled on offense. Reece Witcraft, Boo Lewallen and Dusty Hone scored all of OSU’s takedowns.

The three victories at 133, 141 and 149 pounds sealed the win for OSU.  It was the difference maker in a dual where points were hard to come by.

“That’s what teammates need to do,” Smith said. “They need to pick it up when things aren’t going very well and we had that from guys that are in the lineup that we thought it would be tough for them to win tonight.”

Smith was also critical of Lewallen and Witcraft for settling instead of going for major victories.

“When you’re in a big dual meet, you know where we’re at, we need a major.” Smith said. “Don’t think about winning, or you’ll find yourself fighting for it at the end.”

OSU will face Oklahoma on Dec. 15 in its historical Bedlam rivalry match.

“We’re going to have to wrestle better than what we did today,” Smith said. “We’re going to need to make some changes this week and see some better performances.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com