DeKALB, Ill. -- NIU (3-4) faced the Cleveland State Vikings (1-3) on Thursday night in their seventh match of the season. Coming off two losses in the Northern Duals on November 23, the Huskies aimed to turn it around and show the home crowd a winner. In decisive fashion, they were emerged Victor E. Court successful, winning 25-6 over the Vikings.
"It was great to see us come together as team," said Head Coach Ryan Ludwig. "We've talked a lot about wrestling for the full seven minutes recently. If it takes all seven minutes to go out there and win by one point, then go for it."
Braun Marquez started the match on right foot for the Huskies. He faced Cleveland State's John Martin and was ahead from the start, eventually winning the 125 match 15-8. In the 133, Nick Smith kept it going for the Huskies, winning his match against Jared McKinley, 9-3.
In the 141, Cleveland State was able to get on the board after Tyler Argue battled Mike Carlone. It was a tough and tiring match, one that ended with Carlone sealing up Argue to win 6-5.
Rob Jillard was able to get the Huskies back on track in the 149, winning in a major decision, 12-3. He had a slow start to the match, but from the second period on, Jillard was dominant, outscoring opposing R.J. LaBeef 10-0 over the final two periods. At that point, the Huskies led 10-3.
In the 159, Andrew Morse took on Matt Donohoe. It was a close match overall, and in the third period, the two combined for five reversals. Morse ended up besting his opponent, winning 10-6 to extend the lead into double digits for NIU at 13-3. Shaun'Qae McMurtry kept the pressure on for NIU, as he won his match in the 165, 9-5.
In the 174, Cleveland State was able to get back on the board. Nick Corba outlasted Billy Chancey on the wrestling mat, defeating the Huskie 3-1. That match cut the Huskie lead back down to 10 at 16-6, and with three events left, this meet had yet to be decided.
It looked like Cleveland State would get another to cut the lead back down to a single digit after the 184, but Caleb Busson pulled out a reversal in the final seconds of the match. That key score gave him a 5-4 lead just before the third period ended, putting the Huskies ahead by 13 again. "It was a great win for Busson," said Ludwig. "It was one of the gutsiest performances by our guys this year."
Shawn Scott was dominant in the 197, winning 6-2. He did not allow his opponent to score until the final minute of the third period. He also had nearly four minutes of riding time in the match.
To end the match between these two teams, Jared Torrence took Riley Shaw in the heavyweight showdown. Torrence was behind 2-1 early in the third period of this battle, but a takedown in the final minute gave him a 3-2 advantage. He would eventually win 5-3. With his victory, the Huskies ended the match with a 25-6 victory, getting their third win of the season. "Torrence was outstanding out there," said Ludwig. "We really wanted this match."
125: Braun Marquez (NIU) dec. John Martin (Cleveland State): 15-8
133: Nick Smith (NIU) dec. Jared McKinley (Cleveland State): 9-3
141: Mike Carlone (Cleveland State) dec. Tyler Argue (Cleveland State): 6-5
149: Rob Jillard (NIU) maj. dec. R.J. LaBeef (Cleveland State): 12-3
159: Andrew Morse (NIU) dec. Matt Donohoe (Cleveland State): 10-6
165: Shaun'Qae McMurtry (NIU) dec. Jake Smith (Cleveland State): 9-5
174: Nick Corba (Cleveland State) dec. Billy Chancey (NIU): 3-1
184: Caleb Busson (NIU) dec. Xavier Dye (Cleveland State): 5-4
197: Shawn Scott (NIU) dec. Raymone Stone (Cleveland State): 6-2
285: Jared Torrence (NIU) dec. Riley Shaw (Cleveland State): 5-3
The Huskies have roughly two weeks to prepare for their next match on December 21. That afternoon at 3 p.m. they'll take on Central Michigan in NIU's second conference match of the season.