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Minimizing Minnesota: Cowboys handle Gophers in ranked match

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Ferrari quarterfinals

AJ Ferrari wrestles Missouri's Jace Punke  during the Cowboy Challenge Tournament in Gallagher-Iba Arena on Feb. 14, 2021. Photo Courtesy: Bruce Waterfield/ OSU Athletics

In the midst of boos, AJ Ferrari pointed his index finger to his lips, a signal for the crowd to silence.

No. 6 Oklahoma State defeated No. 11 Minnesota 23-10 Saturday night at Maturi Pavillion in Minneapolis, Minnesota, keeping the Golden Gopher’s crowd quiet.

In the leadoff bout, sophomore Trevor Mastrogiovanni used high doses of offense to defeat Patrick McKee, a 2021 All-American, 10-6. Mastrogiovanni, primarily a defensive wrestler, only scored more than 10 points in four bouts a season ago.

“There was a lot of confidence in his performance and those takedowns were big and critical,” Cowboy coach John Smith said. “He picked him (McKee) up when he was on his legs and he did a nice job finishing his shots, which made a difference in the outcome.”

Carter Young, making his collegiate debut at 141 pounds, however, couldn’t find a way to finish his shots. In his 6-4 loss to Jake Bergeland, college experience proved to be a difference.

“He got to see some things he didn’t maybe recognize and just needs to regroup and continue to get better as we go through these weeks,” Smith said.

Young’s loss was one of three for the Cowboys Saturday evening. Minnesota’s Brayton Lee defeated Wyatt Sheets 15-9 at 157 pounds in a battle of 2021 All-Americans. Heavyweight Luke Surber battled Gable Steveson, UM’s defending national champion and Olympic gold medalist to a 20-7 major decision defeat.

Outside of those losses, OSU’s offense remained a threat at the lower weights. Daton Fix wrestled Jake Gilva to an 18-7 major decision at 133 pounds while OSU’s 149 pounder, Kaden Gfeller, collected his first win of the season with a 9-4 decision over Michael Blockhus.

Between 165 and 197 pounds, OSU accumulated four consecutive wins. Travis Wittlake, Dustin Plott and Dakota Geer picked up major decisions while Ferrari beat Michial Foy of Minnesota 12-4.