Jan. 17, 2014
YPSILANTI, Mich. - The Northern Illinois University wrestling team scored their first Mid-American Conference win of the season Friday night in Ypsilanti, Mich., with a convincing 24-9 win against Eastern Michigan.
The Huskies (5-6, 1-3 MAC) won seven of the 10 matches against the Eagles (8-4, 1-1 MAC), including big wins by Nick Harrison and Shawn Scott.
"I'm really proud of our effort and fire tonight," said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. "We competed and scrapped for everything. That's the key to success. When we compete like that, good things happen."
NIU was able to get off to a blazing fast start courtesy of Harrison. Facing Jared Germaine - the 15th-ranked 125-pounder in the nation - the redshirt sophomore from Stillman Valley, Ill., pulled one of the biggest upsets of the year, pinning Germaine with 38 seconds left in the first period to stake out the Huskies to a 6-0 lead.
"Nick Harrison was a huge fire starter for us tonight with a pin over an undefeated opponent," Ludwig said. "He went out there to fight for everything and got rewarded."
After the Eagles cut the lead in half with a 14-8 decision at 133, Tyler Argue pushed the lead back to six with a 9-4 win at 141 against Nick Barber. Rob Jillard pulled out a tight 4-2 win at 149 against Michael Shaw, putting the Huskies in control with a 12-3 edge.
EMU again looked to stage a comeback with a win at 157. However, Shaun'Qae McMurtry closed the door quickly with a 9-5 victory against Dean Vettese at 165, while Matt Mougin went into overtime to pull out a 6-4 win against Jacob Davis at 174 and make it an 18-9 NIU lead.
Needing wins in each of the final three matches, the Eagles got a tight 3-2 win at 184 to move within 18-9. Yet, Michigan native Shawn Scott scored one of his biggest wins of the season with a 7-5 overtime win against 2013 NCAA qualifier Nick Whitenburg at 197. Facing a two-point deficit entering the third period, the Holly, Mich., native got a last-minute takedown to force overtime, then got a quick takedown to take the win. Not only did Scott pad his postseason resume, but his triumph also clinched the dual win with the Huskies.
In the heavyweight finale, Jared Torrence earned a 6-4 decision against Khodar Hoballah to account for the final points.
The Huskies make a quick turnaround in two days, as they head to Ohio Sunday to face Ashland and #22 Purdue in the 2014 Wendy's Duals. The action starts at 11 a.m. CT against the host Eagles, while NIU faces the nationally-ranked Boilermakers at 1 p.m. CT.
NIU 24, Eastern Michigan 9
125: Nick Harrison (NIU) pins #15 Jared Germaine (EMU), 2:22
133: Vincent Pizzuto (EMU) dec. Nick Smith (NIU), 14-8
141: Tyler Argue (NIU) dec. Nick Barber (EMU), 9-4
149: Rob Jillard (NIU) dec. Michael Shaw (EMU), 5-2
157: Brandon Zeerip (EMU) dec. Andrew Morse (NIU), 10-8
165: Shaun'Qae McMurtry (NIU) dec. Dean Vettese (EMU), 9-5
174: Matt Mougin (NIU) dec. Jacob Davis (EMU), 6-4 (OT)
184: Phillip Joseph (EMU) dec. Caleb Busson (NIU), 3-2
197: Shawn Scott (NIU) dec. Nick Whitenburg (EMU), 7-5 (SV1)
285: Jared Torrence (NIU) dec. Khodar Hoballah (EMU), 6-4