Jan. 25, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. – On their home floor for the first time in three weeks, the Northern Illinois University wrestling team dropped a 31-0 defeat at the hands of the #7 Missouri Tigers.
Facing their fifth Top 25 team of the season, the Huskies (6-8, 1-4 MAC) were unable to get on the board against the Tigers (5-1, 3-1 MAC). Yet, they came close on several occasions to scoring big wins over nationally-ranked opponents.
“We didn’t come out on the winning end of our matches, but I thought we competed well,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “At 133, it was an extremely tight bout. Rob Jillard at 149 went extremely tight and tough with the number one kid in the country. Andrew Morse had a tight bout. Shaun’Qae McMurtry competed one of the best matches we’ve seen from him all year. Shawn Scott made huge gains.”
“We saw good things. We didn’t get the end result we wanted, but right now we’re focusing in on progress and keying in on what we’re going to be doing in March. We’re seeing things move in the right direction and chasing things down, so overall – even if we didn’t get the results we wanted – we saw progress.”
The Tigers drew first blood, as Nick Harrison dropped a tough 4-2 decision to MU’s Barlow McGhee. After surrendering an early takedown, Harrison tied up the match with a pair of escapes, only to give up another takedown that proved to be the difference.
MU built their lead up to 6-0 when Matt Manley survived a scrappy effort from Nick Smith. After trailing 1-0 after one period, Smith used a four-point second period to take a 4-3 lead after the second. However, a Manley takedown and a late two-point nearfall gave the lead back to the Tiger. Smith tied the match as time expired with a reversal, but the riding time advantage allowed Missouri to claim the match.
The NIU deficit grew bigger after Tyler Argue dropped a 7-3 decision to Lavion Mayes at 141. Missouri extended their advantage to 12-0 when top-ranked Drake Houdashelt outlasted Rob Jillard in a 6-2 decision.
The Huskies’ hole grew bigger when Andrew Morse suffered a heart-breaking loss at 157. After taking a 2-0 lead through two periods, his opponent, Joey Lavallee, got a reversal to tie the match. After getting an escape to go back ahead, 3-2, with the riding time advantage, Lavallee got the equalizer with a takedown. In overtime, the Tiger got a quick takedown for sudden victory and a 15-0 lead at the intermission.
The Tigers added to their lead when #8 Zach Toal claimed a tight 5-3 decision over Shaun’Qae McMurtry, making it an 18-0 Missouri lead. The visitors would clinch the dual win when #19 Mikey England defeated Matt Mougin, 7-1, at 174 pounds.
Caleb Busson lost the 184 match, dropping a 13-3 major decision against Cody Johnston. At 197, Shawn Scott came close to scoring a huge upset win, but ultimately dropped an 8-5 decision at the hands of sixth-ranked J’Den Cox.
Missouri capped off the shutout when Devin Mellon got a 2-1 overtime win against Jared Torrence.
NIU caps off the first month of the year Friday, Jan. 31, when they head to Virginia to duel Old Dominion. The Huskies and Monarchs will get on the mats at 6:30 p.m.
#7 Missouri 31, NIU 0
125: Barlow McGhee (MU) dec. Nick Harrison (NIU), 4-2
133: Matt Manley (MU) dec. Nick Smith (NIU), 8-7
141: Lavion Mayes (MU) dec. Tyler Argue (NIU), 7-3
149: #1 Drake Houdashelt (MU) dec. Rob Jillard (NIU), 6-2
157: Joey Lavallee (MU) dec. Andrew Morse (NIU), 6-4 (SV1)
165: #8 Zach Toal (MU) dec. Shaun'Qae McMurtry, 5-3
174: #19 Mikey England (MU) dec. Matt Mougin (NIU), 7-1
184: Cody Johnston (MU) maj. dec. Caleb Busson (NIU), 13-3
197: #6 J'Den Cox (MU) dec. Shawn Scott (NIU), 8-5
285: Devin Mellon (MU) dec. Jared Torrence (NIU), 2-1 (OT)