The Northern Illinois University wrestling team suffered a tough loss at home Saturday in Victor E. Court, as the Central Michigan Chippewas came away with a 25-6 win over the Huskies.
“Caleb and Jared came out and wrestled well today,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “They wrestled with a lot of fire and intensity. Those were great wins for both of them.”
Facing a stiff challenge in #10 Corey Keener, Braun Marquez gave his nationally-ranked foe all he could handle, trailing 2-1 after the first period and 4-3 after two for a chance for the upset. However, Keener notched a quick escape and a takedown in the third period en route to an 8-4 decision and an early 3-0 Chippewa lead.
CMU extended its lead to 6-0 when #11 Joe Roth scored an 18-15 win over Nick Smith in an exciting back-and-forth affair. At 141, Kevin Fanta and #10 Zach Horan battled through a scoreless first period, but an escape-takedown combo in the second period proved to be enough as Horan defeated Fanta, 3-1, and pushed the Chippewas to a 9-0 edge.
Michigander Gabe Morse tried to turn the tide at 149 and got out to an early 2-1 against CMU’s Zach Mattingly. However, the Chippewa tied the match late in the second period with a takedown, then scored the deciding points on an escape in the third period to give CMU a 4-3 decision and a 12-0 lead through four matches. Andrew Morse, Gabe’s twin brother, fared no better in a 5-0 loss to Lucas Smith at 157, putting NIU in a 15-0 hole at halftime.
Following the intermission, Shaun’Qae McMurtry looked to get the Huskies started on the comeback trail and forced a 4-4 tie after two periods against Nick Becker. Yet, Becker scored the decided points with a three-point nearfall in the third period, while the riding time bonus gave the Chippewa an 8-4 win at 165.
Matt Mougin, making his 2013-14 debut, couldn’t get anything going against #11 Mike Ottinger, as the redshirt senior suffered a 12-3 loss to allow CMU to clinch the dual victory.
The Huskies got their first victory of the day when Busson outlasted Craig Kelliher in overtime for a 3-2 win. Trailing 1-0 after two periods, Busson forced overtime with a third period escape. In overtime, Busson scored a reversal, then held off Kelliher’s attacks for the win.
In a microcosm of how the day had gone, Shawn Scott dropped a 3-2 loss to Jackson Lewis. With the match tied at 1-1 and with Scott holding the riding time advantage, Lewis snagged Scott and got a takedown with five seconds left to take the win.
Torrence finished the meet on a positive note for the Huskies by claiming a 4-1 overtime win over Adam Robinson. After keeping Robinson down in the first half of the overtime, NIU’s heavyweight scored the escape and removed all doubt with a takedown.
NIU caps off the 2013 calendar year Dec. 29-30 when they head to Evanston, Ill., for the 51st annual Midlands Championships. The tournament begins Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and continues through Monday evening.
Central Michigan 25, Northern Illinois 6
125: #10 Corey Keener (CMU) dec. Braun Marquez (NIU), 8-4
133: #11 Joe Roth (CMU) dec. Nick Smith (NIU), 18-15
141: #10 Zach Horan (CMU) dec. Kevin Fanta (NIU), 3-1
149: Zach Mattingly (CMU) dec. Gabe Morse (NIU), 4-3
157: Lucas Smith (CMU) dec. Andrew Morse (NIU), 5-0
165: Nick Becker (CMU) dec. Shaun’Qae McMurtry (NIU), 8-4
174: #11 Mike Ottinger (CMU) maj. dec. Matt Mougin (NIU), 12-3
184: Caleb Busson (NIU) dec. Craig Kelliher (CMU), 3-2 (OT)
197: Jackson Lewis (CMU) dec. Shawn Scott (NIU), 3-2
285: Jared Torrence (NIU) dec. Adam Robinson (CMU), 4-1 (OT)
For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.