Gomez Falls In National Semifinals
March 19, 2010
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OMAHA, Neb. - Michigan State's third-seeded Franklin Gomez fell to No. 2 Daniel Dennis of Iowa in overtime, 5-3, in the semifinals of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Gomez will now meet the eighth-seed Tyler Graff of Wisconsin for the right to move on third-place bout on Saturday morning.
"It doesn't get much tougher than that," said MSU head coach Tom Minkel. "Franklin gives you a great match every time he steps on the mat, I couldn't be any more proud of him than I am. He's still got some work to do tomorrow, too."
Gomez is now a three-time All-America and the 10th wrestler in school history to earn All-America honors on at least three occasions.
The two wrestled an even first period as neither was able to score. Dennis started the second period down and got an escape eight seconds in for the first points of the bout. Gomez quickly struck back seven seconds later with a takedown to take the lead, 2-1. Dennis then tied it with an escape of his own and took the lead when Gomez was hit with his second stalling call with two seconds remaining in the round. Gomez quickly got the point back and tied the score at three with an escape four seconds into the third period. The two remain locked up for the remainder of the third, forcing overtime.
Dennis then got a takedown just over 20 seconds into overtime for the 5-3 win.
Antony Jones Jr. met Cyler Sanderson, the fourth seed from Penn State, for the right to move on and earn All-America honors at 157 pounds. Jones struck first in the bout with a takedown just nine seconds into the match. Jones let Sanderson escape just seconds later and the period ended with Jones leading, 2-1. Sanderson got his first takedown in the second period and took a 3-2 lead into the third period. Jones started on top in the final period and Sanderson extended his lead to 4-2 with a quick escape. Jones nearly twice scored a takedown with a minute remaining in the bout, bout couldn't convert. Sanderson scored again late to win the match, 6-3, and end Jones' tournament run.
"I think Anthony Jones is just scratching the surface of his potential," Minkel said. "In the last two weeks, he's broken on to the scene against the very best wrestlers. He's certainly made a big step up in the last couple weeks."
Saturday's action will resume at 11 a.m. EDT and will be televised live on ESPNU.
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