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NDSU at SDSU, Battle for the Border Bell

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South Dakota State earned bonus points in five matches, winning four by major decision and another by technical fall, in defeating North Dakota State, 24-15, in a college wrestling dual Sunday afternoon at Frost Arena.

With the victory, the Jackrabbits claimed the Border Bell traveling trophy and improved to 5-5 in duals this season. NDSU dropped to 0-3.

North Dakota State’s Josh Rodriguez opened the dual with a pin of Ben Gillette in the 125-pound matchup before the Jackrabbits got on the board with an 11-2 major decision victory by 16th-ranked Brance Simms in the 133-pound weight class.

The Bison gained a 9-4 lead as Mitch Bengston recorded a 5-4 decision over Seth Gross at 141 pounds.

SDSU gained control of the match with four straight decisive victories in the middle weights. Alex Kocer started the Jackrabbit winning steak with a 13-6 decision over Clay Ream at 149 pounds, which was followed by sixth-ranked Cody Pack recording a 16-6 decision over Grant Nehring in the 157-pound bout. Pack improved to 12-1 this season, including 7-1 in duals.

Luke Zilverberg turned in a strong performance in the 165-pound match, building a 6-0 first-period lead before tallying a 15-0 technical fall over Tyler McNutt. David Kocer then added a 10-1 major decision over Blake Thompson in the 174-pound weight class, giving the Jackrabbits a 20-9 advantage.

NDSU claimed decisions in two of the final three matches of the dual, but 13th-ranked pounder Nate Rotert sealed the Jackrabbits’ first win over NDSU since the 2009-10 season, with a 14-5 major decision at 197 pounds.

The Jackrabbits return to action Dec. 29-30 by competing in the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships in Evanston, Illinois. The next dual action for SDSU is Jan. 15 at Northern Colorado.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 24, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 15
125: #13 Josh Rodriguez (NDSU) def. Ben Gillette (SDSU), by fall (4:34)
133: #16 Brance Simms (SDSU) major dec. Nico Colunga (NDSU), 11-2
141: Mitch Bengston (NDSU) dec. Seth Gross (SDSU), 5-4
149: Alex Kocer (SDSU) dec. Clay Ream (NDSU), 13-6
157: #6 Cody Pack (SDSU) major dec. Grant Nehring (NDSU),  16-6
165: Luke Zilverberg (SDSU) technical fall Tyler McNutt (NDSU), 15-0
174: David Kocer (SDSU) major dec. Blake Thompson (NDSU), 10-1
184: #13 Hayden Zillmer (NDSU) dec. Brady Ayers (SDSU), 4-1
197: #13 Nate Rotert (SDSU) major dec. Logan Paxton (NDSU), 14-5
285: Ben Tynan (NDSU) dec. Alex Macki (SDSU), 4-0

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