Feb. 6, 2009
DeKALB – For the second season in a row, the Northern Illinois wrestling team’s match-up with Eastern Michigan came down to the last match. But unlike last year, the Huskies were unable to take a win from the Eagles, as EMU escaped the NIU Convocation Center with an 18-16 win, Friday.
The night came down to the final period of the final match. With Northern Illinois leading 16-15, redshirt sophomore Bryan Deutsch took to the mat to face Josh Moulton of Eastern Michigan. Deutsch scored an early takedown, but a reversal and a three-point near fall put Moulton on top 5-2 heading into the second period. A Huskie reversal late in the second brought Deutsch within a point, 5-4, but Moulton escaped to a carry a 6-4 advantage into the final period of the evening.
Deutsch started the period on top, but was reversed 30 seconds in, giving Moulton an 8-4 advantage. Moulton held on to the lead to win, 8-6, and give his team an 18-16 victory, their first over NIU since the 1996-97 season.
By wins, the match was a tie, as each team picked up five. The night opened with three Huskie victories, starting at 165 pounds, where NIU sophomore Bryan O’Connor took out Nick Hendrick, 3-1. True freshman Derrick Yant followed at 174 pounds, scoring a 6-3 win over Tommy St. Louis. Brad Dieckhaus rounded out the great Huskie start by beating Derek Foore, 6-3, and putting Northern Illinois ahead 9-0.
But three consecutive major decisions at 197, 285 and 125 pounds left the Eagles ahead 12-9 with four matches left.
In the 133-pound bout, a match-up between Northern Illinois’ 20th-ranked Tristen DeShazer and Eastern Michigan’s No. 28 Sean Clair, penalty points proved to be the difference. DeShazer was whistled for three, giving Clair the edge he needed to win 5-3, and put the Eagles ahead 15-9.
“We gave away two points on illegal holds, and the guy is hard to score hard,” Grant said. “You can’t give up points on people who are hard to score on.”
Redshirt sophomore Pat McLemore countered by earning a 10-2 major decision over David Pienaar, and bringing the Huskies within two points, 15-13. Freshman Steve Zimmerman followed McLemore’s victory with a 7-3 decision against J.J. Johnson to put the Huskies ahead 16-15, with only Deutsch’s match remaining.
“It was a nice win from Pat McLemore, that’s the kind of leadership you need from your upperclassmen, or, in our case, sophomores,” said Dave Grant, referring to Northern Illinois’ status as the youngest team in the MAC. Grant was also pleased with the effort of Yant and Zimmerman, both of whom were wrestling in high school at this time last year.
“We really pleased with a lot of the younger guys in our program,” he said. “Case and point, Derrick Yant and Steve Zimmerman got two out of the five wins tonight.”
With just two dual meets left before the Mid-American Conference Championships, the Huskies will look to finish strong when they host Central Michigan, Feb. 15, in the final home match of the year, and travel to Buffalo for the regular season finale, Feb. 21.
Eastern Michigan 18, Northern Illinois 16
165 – O’Connor (NIU) dec. Hendrick (EMU) 2-1; NIU leads 3-0
174 – Yant (NIU) dec. St. Louis (EMU) 6-3; NIU leads 6-0
184 – Dieckhaus (NIU) dec. Foore (EMU) 7-4; NIU leads 9-0
197 – McClure (EMU) MD Penny (NIU) 14-5; NIU leads 9-4
285 – Wade (EMU) MD Greenhaw (NIU) 14-4; NIU leads 9-8
125 – Jenkins (EMU) MD Montemayor (EMU) 13-5; EMU leads 12-9
133 – Clair (EMU) dec. DeShazer (NIU) 5-3; EMU leads 15-9
141 – McLemore (NIU) MD Pienaar (EMU) 10-2; EMU leads 15-13
149 – Zimmerman (NIU) dec. Johnson (EMU) 7-3; NIU leads 16-15
157 – Moulton (EMU) dec. Deutsch (EMU) 8-6; EMU wins 18-16