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Franek wins twice to highlight Bison split against UNI, SDSU

No. 13-ranked Jared Franek won both of his matches at 157 pounds to help North Dakota State split a pair of Big 12 Conference wrestling duals Sunday, Jan. 10, at Frost Arena.

Franek’s 4-2 decision over 20th-ranked Cade DeVos in the sudden-victory period propelled NDSU to a 21-13 victory over South Dakota State after the Bison fell 27-11 to 23rd-ranked Northern Iowa. Franek won a 5-1 decision against Cayd Lara of UNI in the earlier dual.

NDSU (2-2) won seven of 10 matches against South Dakota State including a 6-4 decision at 174 pounds by Luke Weber over Cade King. Weber recorded a takedown with 4 seconds left for the victory, his second of the season.

McGwire Midkiff got the scoring started for the Bison with a 3-1 decision at 125 before SDSU pulled ahead 7-3. NDSU won the next five bouts starting at 149 where Jaden Van Maanen earned a 4-2 decision in a tight dual against Hunter Marko.

Following Franek’s win at 157, Austin Brenner tacked on to the Bison lead with a 6-5 slugfest against Colton Carlson. Brenner recorded an escape in the final 45 seconds to end the scoring. No. 16-ranked heavyweight Brandon Metz sealed the Bison victory with a 5-4 overtime win in the second tiebreaker round.

Northern Iowa won seven of 10 bouts including two pins to rout the Bison in the first dual. Joining Franek in the win column were Dylan Droegemueller, who took down Drew Bennett by major decision 12-2 at 141 pounds, and Michael Nelson, who recorded his first victory as a Bison with a 10-1 major decision against No. 30 Tyrell Gordon at 197 pounds.

North Dakota State is off next week before traveling to Cal Poly, where the Bison are scheduled for four duals on Sunday, Jan. 24, against Fresno State, California Baptist, Cal Poly and Little Rock.

Kreuser named Summit League Player of the Week for second time this season

North Dakota State senior Rocky Kreuser posted back-to-back double-doubles in a home sweep of Omaha to nab his second Summit League Player of the Week award this season, league officials announced Monday.

Kreuser scored 19 points in both victories over the Mavericks, while pulling down 12 boards in the 71-69 win in game one and 11 boards in the 80-66 triumph in game two.

Also in game one, Kreuser went 7-for-15 from the field, adding two assists, a steal and a block while making all four of his free throw attempts. In the second tilt, the White Bear Lake, Minn., native went 6-for-13 from the field, knocked down 3-of-6 shots from beyond the arc, went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe again and dished out a season-high four assists.

The double-doubles were the first two of the season for Kreuser, who now has a trio of double-digit rebound games on the campaign.

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