No. 12 Tigers Blast Cyclones in Conference Opener
COLUMBIA - Scoring bonus points has been the theme for the Tiger wrestling team as of late, and Sunday afternoon was no different. No. 12 Missouri (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) won seven of the 10 matches against Iowa State in front of 1,239 fans, scoring bonus points in five of those wins to pace their 31-10 victory
Iowa State took the early lead at 174 pounds, as No. 7 Chris Spangler pulled the upset on No. 3 Dorian Henderson, winning 7-4. However, No. 19 Mike Larson registered a fall at 184 pounds to give the Tigers the 6-3 advantage. Larson took down Mikey England with 33 seconds left in the first period and quickly got him to his back, sticking him in 2:36.
Junior Brent Haynes extended that lead to 11-3 with a technical fall in the next match, shutting out Cole Shafer by a 15-0 score. Haynes hit a takedown and a two near fall in the first period, and scored a reversal a minute into the second. In the third, after Shafer chose neutral, Haynes landed a takedown and two three point near falls before the buzzer.
At heavyweight, Devin Mellon won his seventh straight match with a 3-2 victory over Matt Gibson. Mellon scored a takedown in the first and an escape in the third while surrendering just two escapes.
For the first time this year, Alan Waters found himself trailing in a match, as he was down 4-2 after giving up two takedowns in the first to No. 10 Ryak Finch. However, after starting the second on bottom, Waters reversed Finch to tie the score, then used his strong riding skills to turn Finch to his back for three points. In the third, Waters took Finch down with less than a minute left, and turned him again for another three with just seven seconds left to score a 13-4 major decision. Now 9-0 on the year, all of Waters' victories have come with bonus points.
No. 11 Nathan McCormick moved to 9-1 on the season and 5-1 in duals with a 9-5 victory over RJ Hallman at 133 pounds, pushing Mizzou's lead to 21-3. However, Iowa State broke Missouri's four-match winning streak at 141, with Luke Goettl pulling out a 6-5 win over Brandon Wiest. Wiest was deep on several shots in the third period, any of which would've given him the victory, but Goettl was able to fight him off and secure the win for the Cyclones.
At 149 pounds, Kyle Bradley registered his third straight win by fall, all of which have come with short time left in the match. Up 10-3 in the third and looking for the major decision, Bradley took Joe Cozart down to his back with eight seconds left, and was awarded the pin with just one second left on the timer. The win put Missouri up 27-6 and improved Bradley to 8-3 on the season, as he's riding an eight-match winning streak. Two weeks ago, Bradley pinned his opponent in the Kaufman-Brand Open finals with just 17 seconds left, while last week he stuck Ian Miller of Kent State with 35 seconds remaining.
Redshirt freshman Drake Houdashelt closed out the scoring for Missouri with a 13-3 major decision over Michael Moreno. Houdashelt scored three takedowns in the first two periods and scored two takedowns and two escapes in the third to go along with his riding time. At 165 pounds, No. 4 Andrew Sorenson won by major decision over No. 12 Zach Toal, 12-4.
The Tigers will have a week and a half off for the holidays before returning to action on January 1-2 with their first major tournament of the season, as Missouri will head to Chattanooga, Tenn. for the Southern Scuffle. Other teams competing in the tournament include No. 3 Minnesota, No. 4 Cornell and No. 5 Penn State.