Sooners Come Up Short against No. 12 South Dakota State

Saturday, 10 February 2024 07:27

Sooners Come Up Short against No. 12 South Dakota State

Written by OU Athletics Communications News Release
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Sooner Wrestler Willie McDougald won his bout with SDSU's Alek Martin with a 4-1 Decision Sooner Wrestler Willie McDougald won his bout with SDSU's Alek Martin with a 4-1 Decision Photo by Peyton Martin/University of Oklahoma

NORMAN – A strong start for No. 23 Oklahoma had the Sooners on top after seven bouts, but No. 12 South Dakota State (12-2, 6-0 Big 12) pulled away down the stretch to claim a 20-13 win on Friday night in McCasland Field House. 

The Sooners (5-6, 2-5 Big 12) got big early wins from Josh HeindselmanJace Koelzer and Willie McDougald to put OU ahead 10-8 after the 149-pound match as these conference foes battled back-and-forth throughout the night. The next four out of five bouts would go the Jackrabitts' way, and the no. 12 team in the country took the victory. 

The opening bout of the night featured the heavyweights, as No. 12 Josh Heindselman matched up with SDSU's Luke Rasmussen. Getting a rare opportunity to set the tone from the start, Heindselman came out with a lot of energy from the get-go. He grabbed four takedowns and riding time to propel him to a 14-6 major decision for his 18th win of the season.

At 133 pounds, Jace Koelzer earned a memorable win on senior night by shutting out No. 16 Derrick Cardinal, 2-0. Scoreless after two periods, Koelzer picked up an escape and riding time point to give the graduate transfer his highest ranked win of the season.

Willie McDougald continued his hot streak for the Crimson and Cream. Fresh off a win over Northern Iowa's Cael Rahnavardi last week, McDougald faced another tough test on Friday night as he squared off against SDSU's No. 18 Alek Martin.

The Niagara Falls native was the aggressor throughout the149-poound bout and finally got his reward in the closing seconds of the third period where he secured the take down to nab a 4-1 decision. The ranked win makes it three on the season for the redshirt junior.

Cutting down to 165 pounds, Gerrit Nijenhuis wrestled in his first dual for OU since Dec. 3. Matched up with the Jackrabbits' Connor Gaynor, Nijenhuis scored a key third period takedown en route to a 6-4 decision in what proved to be the final win of the night for the Sooners.

Conrad HendriksenCarter SchmidtJared HillTate Picklo and Giuseppe Hoose all battled hard but were unable to find the breakthrough necessary to put points on the board for the Sooners.

In a rematch of the 2022 197-pound Big 12 Championship title bout, No. 2 Stephen Buchanan suffered his first loss of the season to SDSU's No. 6 Tanner Sloan in a 4-1 decision. Buchanan and Sloan entered Friday's dual as the Big 12's highest ranked wrestlers in the 197 pound weight class, according to Intermat.

The Sooners will be back in action next week as the team travels to Stillwater for the 188th edition of Bedlam wrestling. OU will take the mat against No. 2 Oklahoma State on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2:00 p.m. CT in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

285: Josh Heindselman (Oklahoma) over Luke Rasmussen (South Dakota State) (MD 14-6)
125: Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State) over Conrad Hendriksen (Oklahoma) (Dec 4-0)
133: Jace Koelzer (Oklahoma) over Derrick Cardinal (South Dakota State) (Dec 1-0)
141: Clay Carlson (South Dakota State) over Carter Schmidt (Oklahoma) (TF 15-0 3:00)
149: Willie McDougald (Oklahoma) over Alek Martin (South Dakota State) (Dec 4-1)
157: Cael Swensen (South Dakota State) over Jared Hill (Oklahoma) (SV-1 4-1)
165: Gerrit Nijenhuis (Oklahoma) over Connor Gaynor (South Dakota State) (Dec 6-4)
174: Cade DeVos (South Dakota State) over Tate Picklo (Oklahoma) (Dec 8-5)
184: Bennett Berge (South Dakota State) over Giuseppe Hoose (Oklahoma) (Dec 7-2)
197: Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) over Stephen Buchanan (Oklahoma) (Dec 4-1)

For updates, follow @OU_Wrestling on Twitter and Instagram, or like Oklahoma Wrestling on Facebook.

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