HINSDALE, Ill. -- The No. 22 Purdue wrestling team snapped a three-match losing streak on Monday night, knocking off 20th-ranked Wisconsin, 22-14, at Hinsdale Central High School. The Boilermakers improved to 11-5 on the year and 2-3 in conference action, while the Badgers fell to 7-5 (4-3 Big Ten).
The Boilermakers won six of the 10 bouts on Monday, including bonus-point victories at 141 and 184 pounds. It was Purdue's first neutral-site victory over Wisconsin in series history, snapping a streak of 10 consecutive losses to the Badgers in matches not held in West Lafayette or Madison, as well as extending Purdue's win streak over Wisconsin to three straight.
Junior Camden Eppert got things going for the Boilermakers, earning a 3-1 victory over sophomore Matt Cavallaris at 125 pounds. Eppert reversed his opponent early in the second period, and then rode Cavallaris for the entire third period to improve to 4-1 in conference duals and earn his career-best 19th win of the season. His reversal also moved him into a tie for 16th all-time at Purdue with 29 for his career.
The Badgers answered with a 21-5 technical fall by fifth-ranked senior Tyler Graff over Purdue freshman Danny Sabatello at 133 pounds, taking a 5-3 lead, but the Boilermakers came right back over the top as sophomore Brandon Nelsen stuck Badger senior Tom Kelliher for a 9-5 Purdue advantage. Nelsen wasted no time in the bout, getting a quick takedown and then putting Kelliher right on his back. Kelliher put up a great fight, limiting Nelsen to just three back points and a 5-0 lead, pushing the match to the second period. Kelliher battled back with a pair of takedowns, trimming the lead to 7-4, but Nelsen caught a cradle in the third period and would not let the Badger senior off his blades this time, earning the fall at 6:26.
Nelsen's 15th career fall earned him the No. 20 spot on the Boilermakers' all-time pin list and sparked a four-match run for the Boilermakers to extend the lead to 18-5. Purdue senior Ivan Lopouchanski needed overtime to protect his undefeated record at 149 pounds, defeating senior Cole Schmitt in a tie-breaker, 2-1, while fellow Boilermaker senior Tommy Churchard used a clutch third-period takedown and ride-out for a 4-3 victory over junior Kalvin York at 157 pounds. Boilermaker sophomore Pat Robinson closed out the run at 165 pounds, avenging a loss from earlier this season with an 11-5 decision over sophomore Frank Cousins.
The Badgers halted the run with a 7-2 decision from junior Scott Liegel at 174 pounds over Purdue freshman Chad Welch, but Boilermaker sophomore Patrick Kissel had a huge return from injury, sealing the dual with a 9-0 major decision over sophomore Ben Cox at 184 pounds. Having missed the last month with an injury, Kissel was solid in his return, scoring all his points in the second and third periods, including a key two-point tilt in the second.
Despite having the team score out of reach, Wisconsin took the last two bouts as 20th-ranked junior Jackson Hein outlasted Purdue sophomore Braden Atwood in a 6-6 second tiebreaker at 197 and 11th-ranked Connor Medbery topped Boilermaker junior Alex White at heavyweight, 8-3.
The Boilermakers will return to the Chicagoland area on Friday as they face 23rd-ranked Northwestern at 7 p.m (CT) in Welsh-Ryan Arena.
125: No. 15 Camden Eppert (PU) dec. Matt Cavallaris (UW), 3-1
133: No. 5 Tyler Graff (UW) tech. fall Danny Sabatello (PU), 21-5 (6:15)
141: Brandon Nelsen (PU) pinned Tom Kelliher (UW), 6:26
149: No. 13 Ivan Lopouchanski (PU) dec. Cole Schmitt (UW), 2-1 TB
157: Tommy Churchard (PU) dec. Kalvin York (UW), 4-3
165: Pat Robinson (PU) dec. Frank Cousins (UW), 11-5
174: Scott Liegel (UW) dec. Chad Welch (PU), 7-2
184: Patrick Kissel (PU) maj. dec. Ben Cox (UW), 9-0
197: No. 20 Jackson Hein (UW) dec. No. 17 Braden Atwood (PU), 6-6 TB2
285: No. 11 Connor Medbery (UW) dec. Alex White (PU), D 8-3