Mizzou Wrestling Undefeated
NEW YORK CITY -- The No. 7 Missouri Tigers Wrestling program traveled to Madison Square Garden Sunday for the inaugural Grapple at the Garden. Mizzou won both duals on the day to improve to a perfect 7-0, defeating No. 8 Cornell 22-12 and No. 25 Bloomsburg with a 22-9 final. The event featured fourteen universities, six of which are ranked in the top-25 in the nation.
The Tigers got off to a fast start against Cornell with wins in the first three weight classes of 125, 133 and 141 pounds. Junior Alan Waters, tabbed No. 2 in the country, remained perfect in 2012 with his second win against Cornell's Nahshon Garrett this year. Waters tallied a quick takedown and a three-point near fall en route to his fifteenth win on the year. Nathan McCormick added four team points after he took his match by major decision 11-3 over No. 8 Naryman Arujau.
Possibly the biggest win came at 141, when senior Nicholas Hucke defeated tenth-ranked Mike Nevinger by decision, 9-7. Hucke and Nevinger scrambled around for about 20seconds before the Mizzou senior managed a takedown. Before Nevinger could escape, Hucke had added back points as well as three nearfall points. A reversal in the third period after Hucke started in the down position to start sealed the match. Hucke had lost his last two matches against unranked opponents coming in to the bout. Hucke's decision gave the Tigers a 10-0 lead over the Big Red after three matches.
Cornell closed the Mizzou lead to one point, 10-9, after three straight decisions at 149, 157 and 165 pounds. No. 20 Chris Villalonga took care of Mizzou's No. 16-ranked sophomore Drake Houdashelt 2-1 in overtime in a bout that didn't have much action to offer. Jesse Shanaman also squeaked out a victory over Kyle Bradley, 3-2. Missouri's Zach Toal (No. 10) rematched against Kyle Dake, the top-seeded 165-pounder in the nation. Dake continued his dominance with a 4-0 win overToal. Cornell's three-time NCAA Champion was named Most Outstanding Wrestler for this year's event. Toal and Dake had previously faced off in Las Vegas on December 1, with Dake taking the match by major decision, 14-3.
Senior Todd Porter ended Cornell's run with a 4-3 decision over Marshall Peppelman. After a shocking Steve Bosak 6-0 victory over Mizzou's Mike Larson (No. 6), the Tigers solidified their sixth win of the year after No. 10 Brent Haynes pinned Jace Bennett at 4:42. The huge win for Haynes leaves the senior five wins shy ofhitting the 100-career wins milestone.
Dom Bradley rounded out the win with a decision over Stryker Lane, 7-1. Coming in to 2012-13, many polls had Cornell and Mizzou as a tie for No. 7 in the nation.
Mizzou's also met up with the No. 25 Bloomsburg Huskies at Madison Square Garden. The Tigers took the dual 22-9 to improve to 7-0 after the two duals in The Big Apple.
As has been the case every dual this year, Waters kicked off the dual with a win at 125 pounds. Unlike the majority of Waters' matches, only one point was scored in his bout with Sean Boylan. Waters improves to 16-0 after taking the 1-0 decision. McCormick also followed suit with a 5-2 decision over Nick Wilcox. The senior grappler took a 4-1 first period lead and held strong through the final four minutes.
At 141, Huckedropped the match 7-5 to Matt Rappo after his big win earlier in the day against Nevinger of Cornell. Hucke fell behind 6-3 in the third, and cut the deficit to one with a reversal. An illegal move by the senior grappler gaveRappo a 7-5 lead which would eventually be the final.
Houdashelt and Kyle Bradley avenged themselves after tough one-point losses against Cornell. Houdashelt took shot after shot, especially in the third period against Simon Kitzis. Houdashelt won by major decision after accumulating six takedowns in the bout against the Huskies redshirt sophomore. Bradley took on Frank Hickman, ranked seventh in the nation by Intermat. Bradley started in the down position in the second period and after an escape, managed a takedown for a 3-0 lead. Hickman escaped late in the second, as well as in the third period, but Bradley held strong for a 3-2 victory.
Toal faced off against Josh Veltre Jr. at 165, and the No. 10 grappler couldn't get much going. Veltre rode three takedowns to a 7-4 decision, with Toal only scoring on escapes. The only other loss for the Tigers came at 197, where Bloomsburg's Richard Perry (No. 15) proved too much for sophomore Johnny Eblen and won by decision, 4-2.
Todd Porter improved to 2-0 in New York City after a 5-2 win over Chris Smith. With 22 seconds remaining, Porter added two points via the takedown to put the match away. Mike Larson also responded well after a tough loss earlier in the daywith a 6-1 victory over Andre Petroski. Larson capitalized in the second period with a reversal followed by a two-point nearfall.
After Eblen's loss at 197, Dom Bradley once again finished off the dual for the Tigers. Bradley capitalized on many shots today after stressing more shots in practice after returning from the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas, and defeated No. 15 Justin Grant. Bloomsburg's heavyweight did manage to take down Bradley at 20 seconds in to the second period. That was the first takedown Bradley has fallen victim to all year. The match ended with Bradley holding the advantage, 10-6.
Mizzou, now 7-0, will have a little more than a week off before their next showcase at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tennessee on New Year's Day.