Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones overcome early deficit to beat West Virginia


Lee Chinyama

Paniro Johnson at the ISU vs. OSU wrestling meet on Jan. 29.

Daniel Krivacs, Sports Reporter

Trailing much of the way, Iowa State wrestling battled back to take a 20-13 win over West Virginia on Friday.

The Cyclones were behind by as much as 10-0 at one point but would only drop one match afterward in the win.

David Carr extends his winning streak 

The highest-ranked match of the night came at a big moment for Iowa State. The Cyclones were down 10-7 to the Mountaineers when No. 2 David Carr took the mat. Carr took on No. 10 Peyton Hall in the only top-10 matchup of the evening.  

Carr tied the meet at 10 with an 8-2 victory by decision against Hall, giving Carr his 22nd straight win. No. 2 Carr is now 16-0 this season. Hall is a top 10 wrestler and Carr kept his distance well when he needed to. When the time came to turn up the aggression, Carr used his impressive speed to keep Hall out of the match for most of their time on the mat.  

Carr not earning bonus points against Hall almost came as a surprise, as Carr had earned bonus points in eight of his last 15 matches. Earning bonus points against a top-10 wrestler is no easy task, but it speaks volumes to just how good Carr has been this season. 

Nonetheless, the highest-ranked wrestler on Iowa State’s roster won his match in a big moment against a top-10 opponent, and it was not close in the third period. Carr will look to extend his winning streak to 23 on Saturday against No. 23 Holden Heller of Pitt.   

Yonger Bastida gives Cyclones their first lead of the night

Tied 13-13 after eight matches, No. 5 Yonger Bastida took the mat against No. 31 Austin Cooley of West Virginia.  

Prior to the match, Bastida led the team in takedowns with 55 on the season. He continued his trend of takedowns with three in the second period. Bastida’s second period against Cooley set him up for the dominant third. Cooley’s legs continued to straighten, and by the end of the second period, it was clear that Bastida was wearing Cooley down.  

Bastida allowed Cooley to escape and earn a point multiple times in the third period so Bastida could take him down again. The final takedown, combined with the riding time point, gave Bastida a victory by a major decision, and it could not have come at a better time for the Cyclones.  

The bonus point was Iowa State’s second of the night. No. 10 Paniro Johnson earned one in his match against No. 25 Sam Hillegas.  The first lead of the night came for the Cyclones with only one match left, and it was a four-point lead.    

Cyclones overcome early deficit 

After the first three matches of the night, the Cyclones found themselves down 10-0 on the road. Then, Johnson came in, settled things down and confidently gave Iowa State their first victory of the night. Johnson’s 14-4 major decision gave the Cyclones the spark that they needed after Jordan Titus of West Virginia earned the Mountaineers a bonus point after his major decision against No. 24 Casey Swiderski two matches earlier.  

After Johnson’s match, the Cyclones won five of the final six matches on their way to the 20-13 team victory. No. 27 Jason Kraisser defeated Alex Hornfeck by decision 5-3, No. 2 Carr defeated No. 10 Hall by decision 8-2, No. 4 Marcus Coleman defeated No. 32 Anthony Carman by decision 9-5, No. 5 Bastida had the moment of the night and earned a major decision 16-8 against No. 31 Cooley, and No. 10 Sam Schuyler put the icing on the cake and maintained the Cyclone lead by earning a 3-2 victory by decision against No. 25 Michael Wolfgram. 

It was not a sure thing for the Cyclones, but they earned victories when they needed them and got two important bonus points from Johnson and Bastida. The four-point lead gave No. 10 Schuyler a lot of room to work against a top-25 opponent in the final match of the night.  

The No. 3 Cyclones have a quick turnaround and will travel to Pittsburgh for a top-20 dual meet against No. 18 Pitt on Saturday. The Cyclones will face the Pitt Panthers at 6 p.m. Saturday in Pittsburgh. The dual meet will be available for streaming on ESPN+