Mizzou Wrestling Pins Their Way Past Kent State
COLUMBIA - The No. 12 Missouri Tigers scored a huge victory over No. 20 Kent State on Friday night, blasting the Golden Flashes by a 34-12 final. No. 5 Alan Waters kicked off the evening with a major decision over No. 2 Nic Bedelyon, while four other Tigers won their matches via pin fall.
Opening at 125 pounds, Waters got the Tigers on the board in a huge way, knocking off No. 2 Nic Bedelyon by a 12-1 major decision to improve to 8-0 on the year and 3-0 in duals. About halfway through the first, Waters hit a takedown for the first points of the match. He'd turn Bedelyon to his back twice in the first period to take a commanding 8-0 lead. Waters rode Bedelyon out in the second, and then scored an escape and another takedown in the third. Bedelyon would get a late escape but nothing more, as riding time gave Waters the win to put the Tigers up 4-0.
Junior Nathan McCormick put Mizzou up 10-0 with a fall in the second match of the evening, pinning Steve Mitcheff in with 18 seconds left in the first period. Kent State was able to get on the board at 141 with a fall of their own, as No. 13 Tyler Small pinned Brandon Wiest in 4:03 to make it 10-6.
Kent State looked like they were going to chip into that Tiger lead some more, but a big comeback by No. 19 Kyle Bradley over No. 18 Ian Miller extended Missouri's advantage. Miller came out in a flurry, scoring three takedowns in the first period to take the early 6-2 lead. Bradley fought his way back in the second with an escape and a takedown, making it 6-5. In the third, Bradley took Miller down twice to gain his first lead of the match, and on the second takedown was able to turn Miller to his back and stick him for the pin in 6:16, extending Missouri's lead to 16-6.
The first decision of the evening came at 157, with Kent State's Mallie Shuster upsetting No. 15 Drake Houdashelt. Shuster hit a flurry of points in the first period to take a 7-3 lead, which paced his 10-5 victory and trimming the Mizzou lead to 16-9.
At 165, sophomore Zach Toal scored a 5-2 decision over Tommy Sasfy, extending the Tiger lead to 19-9. Toal struck first, hitting a takedown with 35 seconds left in the opening period to go ahead early. Sasfy scored a second period escape, but Toal opened the third with an escape of his own and hit another takedown to secure his victory.
Missouri got two more wins by fall at the 174 and 184 pound matches. At 174, No. 3 Dorian Henderson gave up a quick takedown off a scramble, but immediately reversed Brandonn Johnson into a cradle and stuck him in 1:18.
Junior Mike Larson scored a fall late in the third period over Kwan Bailey to extend the Tiger lead to 31-9. After a scoreless first period, Bailey chose down to start the second and Larson went to work, working two tilts for a total of five points. In the third, Larson escaped to go up 6-0, and hit another takedown to take the 8-0 advantage. With riding time locked late in the third period it appeared that Larson was going to take the major decision, but he was able to lock Bailey into a cradle and score the fall with 18 seconds left.
Kent State was able to pull an upset at 197, with Keith Witt earning a 2-0 decision over No. 12 Brent Haynes, but the Tigers returned the favor at heavyweight, as Devin Mellon knocked off No. 15 Brendan Barlow, 5-3. Mellon scored takedowns in the first and third period to aid his victory.
Missouri returns home to the Hearnes Center next Sunday, Dec. 18 for the team's first home conference dual of the season. The Tigers will take on the Iowa State Cyclones beginning at Noon CT.