Gophers finish Big Ten season strong

Minnesota won nine of 10 matches Sunday en route to a 34-5 victory at Wisconsin.
Minnesota's David Thorn wrestles against Oklahoma's Tyler Dorrell on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, at the Sports Pavilion.
  • Emily Dunker, Daily File Photo
February 11, 2013

Minnesota continued to prove the Gophers-Badgers rivalry doesn’t really exist in wrestling Sunday in Madison, Wis.

The Gophers coasted to a 34-5 win at Wisconsin in their final Big Ten dual of the season.

It was Minnesota’s third straight win against the Badgers and second blowout in as many years.

Minnesota has now won two straight matches in impressive fashion after a midseason loss to Iowa two weeks ago.

The Gophers finished their Big Ten regular season schedule with a 7-1 record, one win behind the conference champion Hawkeyes. They will have a week of rest before the National Duals Feb. 22-23.

Junior David Thorn started the dual at Wisconsin with a pin, and the Gophers built on their lead from there.

Minnesota’s only loss came at 133 pounds. Sophomore Chris Dardanes, the usual starter, missed his second consecutive week with an illness.

Sophomore Corey Hodowanic filled in for Dardanes and lost 18-2 to Tyler Graff of Wisconsin. Hodowanic has filled in at both 125 and 133 pounds this season, but he was overmatched this week.

Danny Zilverberg picked up his second Big Ten win of the season. In the week leading up to the dual, assistant coach Luke Becker said Zilverberg needed one win to get his confidence heading into the bulk of the season.

The Gophers’ upper weights controlled the tempo at the end of the dual. That has proved to be a crucial strength of Minnesota’s all season.

The Gophers will host the National Duals in two weeks in their last tune-up before the Big Ten and NCAA championships in March.

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