Huskies Battle Spartans in Annual Showcase Meet

GO HUSKIES Head coach Ryan Ludwig and the Huskies will look for their second win over a Big Ten opponent Saturday against Michigan State
Head coach Ryan Ludwig and the Huskies will look for their second win over a Big Ten opponent Saturday against Michigan State

Dec. 6, 2012

Showcase Meet NotesGet Acrobat Reader | Live Results

DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois wrestling team returns to the friendly confines of the NIU Convocation Center Saturday afternoon, when they take on Michigan State in the Showcase Meet.

The meet between the Huskies and Spartans begins at 2 p.m. Saturday's matchup marks the third time in four years that the two schools have met, with MSU taking the previous two meetings.

"The Showcase Meet is unique in that it provides all the student-athletes with the opportunity to compete in an environment created specifically to wrestle a nationally-significant NCAA Division I dual meet," said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. "There is a big crowd on hand and people are fired up. Sometimes dual meets around the country are wrestled in a quiet gym with little fanfare. This event aims to provide the first-class experience that these young men deserve and that fans and competitors at NIU can expect."

NIU is back in dual action after a highly-successful weekend at the Kaufman-Brand Open in St. Louis, where the team placed 14 wrestlers. Rob Jillard paced the team with a first place showing at 149 pounds, while Andrew Morse took second at 157 and Jared Torrence was third at heavyweight. Matt Mougin won the tournament's award for most pins, recording five in 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Spartans come into DeKalb with a 1-1 record and face Big Ten rival Wisconsin Friday night. MSU's lone win came Nov. 16 when they toppled Eastern Michigan, 25-11, while they lost two weeks later to No. 17 Edinboro, 22-12.

"Michigan State has a well-balanced dual meet squad," Ludwig said. "They have several highly-talented wrestlers on that team. We saw a bit of them at the EMU Open, but everyone has made strides since then. We will need to wrestle with intensity and leave it all on the mat for as long as it takes."

"Each man will need to bring total focus to every minute of his match. We are looking forward to the challenge."

One of the main headliners for the Spartans on the mat is junior Mike McClure, who is a perfect 11-0 on the season and ranked 10th in the nation at heavyweight. Seniors Dan Osterman (149) and David Cheza (157) will also figure greatly into the MSU lineup.

Fans can follow the live action online at or on Twitter @NIUscores.

Northern Illinois Huskies
125: Derek Elmore
133: Nick Harrison
141: Tyler Argue
149: Rob Jillard
157: Andrew Morse
165: Sam Bennett OR Dan Burk
174: Matt Mougin
184: Bryan Loughlin
197: Shawn Scott
285: Jared Torrence OR Arthur Bunce

Michigan State Spartans
125: Josh Heinzer OR Brenan Lyon
133: Christian Olanowski OR Brandon Fifield
141: Nick Trimble
149: Dan Osterman
157: David Cheza
165: Ryan Watts OR Nick Proctor
174: Jordan Wohlfert
184: John Rizqallah
197: Nick McDiarmid OR Luke Jones
HWT: Mike McClure
History Against The Spartans
Despite Northern Illinois' long history against Big Ten teams, Saturday's dual will only be the third time in history that the Huskies and Spartans have faced off on the mat, with each meeting coming in the last four years. MSU has taken the previous two meetings, winning 28-6 Jan. 16, 2010, in East Lansing and 20-15 Dec. 3, 2010 in DeKalb.
Thirteen Going On Fourteen
Nearly a month after placing 13 at the EMU Open, the Huskies did one better at the Kaufman-Brand Open Dec. 1 with 14 placewinners. Rob Jillard led the group with a first place finish at 149, while Andrew Morse took second at 157 and Jared Torrence claimed third in heavyweight.
Hot Starts
Though just barely moving into the second month of the season, six Huskies already have double-digit wins in 2012-13. Leading the way for this half dozen is Matt Mougin with 15 victories. Tied for second are Derek Elmore and Rob Jillard with 13 apiece. Braun Marquez has 11 wins, while Bryan Loughlin and Shawn Scott round out the group with 10 each.
Pin `Em Up
Matt Mougin made plenty of noise Saturday at 174 pounds by registering a tournament-high five pins. the redshirt junior was honored for his accomplishment and even got a shout-out from The Open Mat/Amateur Wrestling News.
Showcase Meet History
Started in the 1996-97 season, the NIU Showcase Meet has been an annual tradition with Huskie Wrestling, as NIU hosts one of the nation's best. The 2012 matchup between the Huskies and Michigan State is the 11th that will take place inside the Convocation Center. Since moving into the Convo in 2002, the Huskies have compiled a 2-8 record. Both wins have come against Northwestern, as NIU won in 2007 and 2009.
Up Next...
The Huskies open their Mid-American Conference slate Tuesday, Dec. 18, when they head to Kent State to take on the Golden Flashes at 1 p.m. Central.



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