Rapid Reaction: No 9 Wisconsin overcomes slow start to top Indiana

After dropping the first two bouts of the night, including an upset loss, the No. 9 Wisconsin wrestling team bounced back to win six of the remaining eight bouts en route to a 27-12 win over host Indiana Friday night.

The Badgers received pins from No. 3 Evan Wick (165 pounds) and Jared Krattiger (174) to go along with a technical fall from No. 11 Johnny Sebastian and a major decision from No. 1 Seth Gross (133).

Taylor Watkins (197) and No. 5 Trent Hillger recorded wins by decision.

With the win, Wisconsin improved to 9-3 on the year, including a 2-3 mark in the Big Ten.

The Hoosiers fell to 1-7 (1-6).

Friday marked Wisconsin’s 13th consecutive victory over Indiana. The Badgers now lead the all-time series 34-24.

An important matchup with No. 16 Purdue awaits Wisconsin in West Lafayette Sunday.

In the meantime, here are a few knee-jerk highlights from Friday night’s conference win:

Finally on the offensive

For the first time in five Big Ten duals this season, UW had the upper hand in the takedown department.

Wisconsin had 18 takedowns to Indiana’s 9. Eight of 10 UW wrestlers tallied a takedown on the night.

It’s the first time this year UW reached double-digit takedowns as a team during a conference dual.

Martin continues to slump

No. 12 Cole Martin gave up a takedown on the edge with under 30 seconds remaining in his match with No. 20 Graham Rooks.

That final score proved to be the decisive one as Rooks emerged victorious by a count of 4-3, avenging his 11-3 loss to Martin at the Midlands Championships back on Dec. 29.

Martin, a three-time NCAA qualifier, has now lost four of his last five matches and is just 1-4 against ranked opponents.

Krattiger pins to win 

Wisconsin’s 174-pounder snapped a five-match winless streak in emphatic fashion as he pinned Diego Lemley just before time expired in the first period.

The pin is Krattiger’s first of the season and is only his second bonus-point win of the 2019-20 campaign.

Heeeeeeerrreeeee’s Johnny! 

No. 11 Johnny Sebastian returned to the mat for the first time since Jan. 10. The sixth-year senior, who has a significant injury history, was held out of the last two duals as a precaution.

Sporting a brace on his right shoulder, Sebastian methodically picked apart Indiana’s Jake Hinz for a 20-4 win by technical fall in less than two periods.

Sebastian is now 8-3 on the season.

Off the schneid at 197

Taylor Watkins’ 6-1 triumph over Indiana’s Nick Willham was a long time coming.

The victory was Wisconsin’s first dual win at the weight class since Feb. 10, 2019 and only the third dual victory at that weight since the beginning of last season.

Dentino makes first career start 

Redshirt freshman Dom Dentino got his first-ever start for the Cardinal and White as he took the mat for Wisconsin at 141 pounds Friday night.

The Arrowhead (WI) High School product squared off with Eddie Bolivar, but fell by decision 10-4.

Dentino entered the night 15-14 in his college career, including a 6-10 mark against NCAA competition.

The status of No. 5 Tristan Moran, the usual starter, for Sunday’s dual with Purdue is unknown.

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