SPEARFISH, S.D. -- A wire-to-wire lead powered the University of Wyoming wrestling team to a 21-13 dual victory over South Dakota State on Sunday in Spearfish, S.D.
The Pokes earned six match victories in the Donald E. Young Center on the campus of Black Hills State University to defeat the Jackrabbits for their second conference win of the season. UW now is 7-3 overall and 2-0 in Western Wrestling Conference action.
The Jacks wouldn't go away quietly, as they made the margin 10-9 UW after six matches. But Wyoming used wins from senior L.J. Helbig (174 pounds), sophomore Shane Woods (184) and senior Alfonso Hernandez to seal the victory.
"We had an opportunity to make it pretty lopsided, but overall, our focus wasn't great," said Wyoming head coach Mark Branch, who won his 24th conference dual in five seasons. "I do think we had an opportunity to separate ourselves and missed out on a couple bonus-point opportunities. I'm not happy, but we had a hard week of practice and they looked a little bit fatigued. It was an improvement over last weekend (a loss to Oregon State) but I still wasn't pleased with how sloppy we were.
"They have a team that likes to slow it down, and we wrestled right into their strategy. We've got a lot of work to do, and we've got a very tough opponent next weekend (versus North Dakota State). Right now, we're not where we need to be."
UW began the dual with a 4-0 lead thanks to a 15-4 major decision from sophomore Tyler Cox at 125 pounds. SDSU took the 133-pound match, but UW responded with a win from junior Kyle Komata at 141 pounds. After the Jacks won at 149, sophomore Andy McCulley earned a 7-3 decision at 157 pounds.
SDSU drew to within one point after the 165-pound bout at 10-9, but Wyoming responded with three-straight wins to secure the victory.
The Cowboys return home to host North Dakota State on Senior Day in the UniWyo Sports Complex at 2 p.m. Sunday. UW will honor its five seniors prior to the first match.
125: Tyler Cox (UW) maj. dec. Aaron Pickrel (SDSU), 15-4 / Wyoming 4, SDSU 0
133: Brance Simms (SDSU) dec. Kasey Garnhart (UW), 3-1 / Wyoming 4, SDSU 3
141: Kyle Komata (UW) dec. Ben Gillette (SDSU), 13-8 / Wyoming 7, SDSU 3
149: Dustin Walraven (SDSU) dec. Brandon Richardson (UW), 7-2 / Wyoming 7, SDSU 6
157: No. 13 Andy McCulley (UW) dec. Cody Pack (SDSU), 7-3 / Wyoming 10, SDSU 6
165: Joe Brewster (SDSU) dec. Jace Jensen (UW) / Wyoming 10, SDSU 9
174: L.J. Helbig (UW) dec. John Nething II (SDSU), 6-4 / Wyoming 13, SDSU 9
184: Shane Woods (UW) dec. Shea Nolan (SDSU), 7-0 / Wyoming 16, SDSU 9
197: No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez (UW) tech. fall Joe Skow (SDSU), 19-3 / Wyoming 21, SDSU 9
285: J.J. Everard (SDSU) dec. Leland Pfeifer (UW), 12-9 / Wyoming 21, SDSU 13