EVANSTON, Ill. -- The 18th-ranked Purdue wrestling team picked up a clutch road victory on Friday night, scoring a 21-15 Big Ten dual win over Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Boilermakers earned a trio of major decisions on the evening, including a match-clinching win by junior captain Camden Eppert at 125 pounds, to improve to 12-5 overall and 3-3 in conference duals.
The Boilermakers needed a fast start to the dual, starting at 133 pounds, and they got it, winning the first three contests of the night en route to a 10-0 lead. Junior captain Cashé Quiroga returned to the lineup at 133 pounds and got off to a solid start with a 6-5 victory over Northwestern freshman Garrison White. Quiroga started fast with two quick takedowns and then grinded out the second and third periods for his fifth win of the year. Sophomore Brandon Nelsen won his second straight match at 141 pounds, using a pair of takedowns and a reversal for a 9-4 victory over Wildcat sophomore Pat Greco. Senior Ivan Lopouchanski picked up his 20th victory of the season at 149 pounds to cap the run, getting a much needed bonus point in a 12-4 major decision over Northwestern sophomore Dylan Marriott. Lopouchanski had to rally late in the match to get the extra tally, scoring three third-period takedowns to make it a 10-0 Purdue advantage.
Northwestern answered with three straight wins of its own at 157, 165 and 174, taking a 12-10 advantage in the team score. Second-ranked senior Jason Welch used the entire seven minutes to score a 20-4 technical fall over Purdue senior Tommy Churchard at 157, 15th-ranked sophomore Pierce Harger edged Boilermaker sophomore Pat Robinson at 165, 6-3, and ninth-ranked sophomore Lee Munster posted a 10-2 major decision over Purdue freshman Chad Welch at 174.
Sophomore Patrick Kissel halted Northwestern's run at 184 pounds, using some late mat-work to score a pair of turns and hammer Jacob Berkowitz by major decision, 13-2. After Kissel pushed the lead back the Boilermakers' direction, 14-12, with his 20th win of the season, sophomore Braden Atwood avenged a Midlands loss to Northwestern sophomore Alex Polizzi with a 5-4 decision. Atwood was the victim of a few quick stalling calls and needed takedowns in the second and third periods to pick up his 19th win of the season and make it a 17-12 Purdue lead with two matches left.
The Wildcats gave themselves some hope at heavyweight as sophomore Mike McMullan returned to the lineup for the first time in 2013, and came away with a 9-2 decision over Purdue junior Alex White, but Eppert closed out the match in authoritative fashion for the Purdue win. Eppert scored early and often in the 10-0 victory, including a four-point move at the end of the second period as he rolled to his 20th win and team-leading eighth major decision.
The Boilermakers head home to host 17th-ranked Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Holloway Gymnasium. Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for youth and $1 for Purdue faculty or staff.
133: Cashé Quiroga (PU) def. Garrison White (NU), D 6-5 (PU 3 – NU 0)
141: Brandon Nelsen (PU) def. Pat Greco (NU), D 9-4 (PU 6 – NU 0)
149: Ivan Lopouchanski (PU) def. Dylan Marriott (NU), MD 12-4 (PU 10 – NU 0)
157: Jason Welch (NU) def. Tommy Churchard (PU), TF 20-4 (7:00) (PU 10 – NU 5)
165: Pierce Harger (NU) def. Pat Robinson (PU), D 6-3 (PU 10 – NU 8)
174: Lee Munster (NU) def. Chad Welch (PU), MD 10-2 (PU 10 – NU 12)
184: Patrick Kissel (PU) def. Jacob Berkowitz (NU), MD 13-2 (PU 14 – NU 12)
197: Braden Atwood (PU) def. Alex Polizzi (NU), D 5-4 (PU 17 – NU 12)
285: Mike McMullan (NU) def. Alex White (NU), D 9-2 (PU 17 – NU 15)
125: Camden Eppert (PU) def. Dominick Malone (NU), MD 10-0 (PU 21 – NU 15)