NORMAN — Oklahoma State’s second trip to McCasland Field House was a whole lot more positive than its first.
The Cowboys won six individual champions and cruised to the Big 12 Championship Saturday evening, while the host Oklahoma Sooners crowned champions in seniors Jarrod Patterson at 125 and Kendric Maple at 149 and easily outdistanced Iowa State for second place.
The final match of the night left the crowd buzzing, as the Cowboys’ Chris Perry, a defending national champion, held off former national champion Andrew Howe of the Sooners, 3-2, in a matchup of the top two wrestlers in the country at 174 pounds.
Howe got the match’s only takedown in the final period, but two optional starts and a riding time point gave the Cowboy senior the win.
While Perry riding out the entire second period gave the edge that ultimately won him the match, it may be remembered more for two third-period challenges by Cowboy coach John Smith, each of which negated what originally were called as takedowns for Howe.
The second came after Howe had gotten credit for a takedown and nearly pinned Perry with just more than a minute left in the match for what would have been at least a 4-2 advantage for the Sooner, and probably more if near-fall points had been awarded.
Instead, the match stayed 2-2 and Perry fought off a final advance by Howe in the closing seconds as boos rained down from the Sooner faithful as equally as the cheers from the orange-clowd Cowboy fans. It’a a fourth straight Big 12 title for Perry, who has not lost other than a December defeat to Howe.
Howe won 4-2 that day inside the Field House, as the Sooners knocked off the Cowboys 16-15 in the first of two Bedlam duals.
“Howe’s such a tough guy, and you just have to figure out a way to score on him,” Smith said. “Chris did a good job of staying tough. It was probably the best 3-2 match of the night, there was a lot of action both ways.”