ITHACA, N.Y. -- Despite missing four NCAA tournament qualifiers in its season debut, the Cornell wrestling team kept the train rolling with an 18-15 dual meet victory over Buffalo on Saturday afternoon at Newman Arena. Two-time NCAA champion Gabe Dean's pin at 184 pounds proved to be the difference as the Big Red move to 1-0 on the season.
The Big Red lost four of its five matches by a single point and won each of its decisions by at least five points, but in the end the difference was a dominant senior doing what he does. Dean was well on the way to a bonus point victory over Brett Perry before putting his shoulders to the mat 27 seconds into the third period. That gave Cornell some breathing room at 18-9 before Buffalo won a pair of one-point decisions in the final two weights to fall just short.
Dean moved into 11th place all-time at Cornell with his 119 wins and also to seventh with his 73 bonus point wins with his 31st career win by fall.
Despite Four of Cornell's five ranked wrestlers earned wins, with only No. 15 Mark Grey falling by a 3-2 decision at 133 pounds to NCAA qualifier Bryan Lantry. Fifth-ranked Brian Realbuto made his season debut and first public appearance since suffering an injury at the NCAA championships and shook off some early rust before earning a 9-4 win over Muhamed McBryde at 174. Joey Galasso and Brandon Womack, both ranked #20 at their respective weights, each had dominant wins, but fell short of pulling bonus points with six- and seven-point triumphs.
The Big Red wrestled without nationally ranked Dalton Macri (#15 at 125), Dylan Palacio (#2 at 157) and Jeramy Sweany (#19 at 285) and NCAA qualifier Owen Scott at 197.
Cornell now leads the all-time series with Buffalo 7-4 and extended its win streak against schools that reside in New York state to 31 and against unranked opponents to 69.
Cornell will be in search of its fifth straight New York State title tomorrow at Newman Arena.
125: Derek Spann (UB) won by decision over Noah Baughman (C), 7-4
133: Bryan Lantry (UB) won by decision over #15 Mark Grey (C), 3-2
141: Jason Estevez (UB) won by decision over Will Koll (C), 3-2
149: #20 Joey Galasso (C) won by decision over Colt Cotten (UB), 10-4
157: Taylor Simaz (C) won by decision over Kobe Garrehy (UB), 8-1
165: #20 Brandon Womack (C) won by decision over Derek Holcomb (UB), 13-6
174: #5 Brian Realbuto (C) won by decision over Muhamed McBryde (UB), 9-4
184: #1 Gabe Dean (C) won by fall Brett Perry (UB), 5:27
197: James Benjamin (UB) won by decision over Ben Honis (C), 4-3
285: Jake Gunning (UB) won by decision over Craig Scott (C), 5-4