Tom Brands, Austin DeSanto Post Match

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team used three pins and three major decisions to dismantle No. 9 Illinois on Sunday, 36-6, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa outscored the Illini 71-29 in match points, held a 23-5 advantage in takedowns, and earned the largest margin of victory in the series since 2003 (40-4). Iowa extended its Big Ten winning streak to 21 duals and its home winning streak to 18.

The Hawkeyes got falls from Spencer Lee, Jaydin Eierman and Tony Cassioppi, and major decisions from Austin DeSanto, Kaleb Young and Michael Kemerer.

“I think you are seeing a lot of bonus points and that is a tribute to our guys,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “The philosophy has been there. We had three falls today. Those are important. They send a message.”  

For the third time in as many duals this season, Lee led off with a first-period fall, again against a ranked opponent at 125. He scored a takedown nine seconds after the whistle and earned a pair of nearfall points before eventually settling in for the fall in two minutes, 27 seconds.

DeSanto piled up six takedowns to earn an 18-6 major at 133, and Eierman, who racked up 38 falls in three seasons at Missouri, registered his first as a Hawkeye. He led 5-3 in the third before locking up a cradle and securing his first fall as a Hawkeye in six minutes, eight seconds, at 141.

Murin won the first of two top 10 wins for Iowa, scoring a takedown in the final minute at 149 to defeat No. 8 Michael Carr, 3-1. Kaleb Young gave the Hawkeyes a 23-0 lead at the brea by scoring three takedowns in the final period of a 13-4 major decision at 157. It marked the third time in three duals Iowa swept the first five weight classes.

“The thing that you cannot coach against is pace,” said Brands. “They definitely feed off Spencer’s energy.” 

Iowa returned from the break with a 10-2 major decision from Kemerer at 174, a 4-0 decision from Jacob Warner at 197, and a closing pin from Cassioppi at 285. Cassioppi led 3-0 before cradling Luke Luffman, the No. 5 heavyweight in the country.

Illinois won decisions at 165 and 184. Joe Kelly made his Hawkeye debut at 165 and dropped a 10-6 decision. Nelson Brands lost 3-1 in sudden victory to No. 11 Zach Braunagel. 

No. 1 Iowa returns to action Feb. 7 wrestling a triangular at Purdue against the No. 19 Boilermakers and No. 11 Ohio State. The Hawkeyes’ dual against Ohio State begins at 1 p.m. (CT) and is televised on BTN. A start time for the Purdue dual has not yet been announced.   

NOTABLES

  • The margin of victory was the largest in the series since Iowa won 40-4 in 2003.
  • Iowa has won 16 straight overall and 21 consecutive Big Ten duals. 
  • Iowa has won 18 straight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
  • Tom Brands improved to 9-0 all-time against Illinois.
  • Spencer Lee extended his winning streak to 26 matches.
  • Spencer Lee’s pin was the 24th of his career, 19 have come in the first period, including all three in 2021.
  • Spencer Lee is 25-0 all-time in Big Ten duals.
  • Spencer Lee improved to 20-0 all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
  • Austin DeSanto won by major decision and has outscored his three opponents this season, 60-14.
  • Jaydin Eierman recorded his first pin as a Hawkeye, the 39th of his career.
  • Murin improved to 15-12 in his career and 3-0 this season against ranked opponents.
  • Tony Cassioppi earned his first pin of the season and his first career pin against a top five opponent.

#1 IOWA 36, #9 Illinois 6

125        #1 Spencer Lee (IA) pinned #13 Justin Cardani (ILL), 2:27; 6-0

133        #5 Austin DeSanto (IA) major dec. #23 Lucas Byrd (ILL), 18-6; 10-0

141        #1 Jaydin Eierman (IA) pinned #13 Dylan Duncan (ILL), 6:08; 16-0

149        #6 Max Murin (IA) dec. #8 Michael Carr (ILL), 3-1; 19-0

157        #7 Kaleb Young (IA) major dec. Johnny Mologousis (ILL), 13-4; 23-0

165        Luke Odom (ILL) dec. Joe Kelly (IA), 10-6; 23-3

174        #1 Michael Kemerer (IA) major dec. #26 D.J. Shannon (ILL), 10-2; 27-3

184        #11 Zach Braunagel (ILL) dec. #6 Nelson Brands (IA); 3-1 SV1; 27-6

197        #3 Jacob Warner (IA) dec. #24 Matt Wroblewski (ILL), 4-0; 30-6

285        ##3 Tony Cassioppi (IA) pinned #5 Luke Luffman (ILL), 4:30; 36-6

Records: Iowa (3-0, 3-0), Illinois (4-1, 4-1)

Date: Jan. 31, 2021

Attendance: 312

Extra Matches

133        Cullan Schriever (IA) major dec. We Rachal (ILL), 22-9

149        Christian Kanzler (ILL) dec. Cobe Siebrecht (IA), 5-4

174        Patrick Kennedy (IA) dec. Trey Sizemore (ILL), 8-3

197        Isaiah Pettigrew (ILL) dec. Connor Corbin (ILL), 3-2