KENT, Ohio -- The No. 9 Missouri Wrestling program closed out the 2013-14 regular season with a 24-9 conference victory over the Golden Flashes from Kent State on Friday evening. The Tigers won seven of 10 matches on the night, including bonus point victories from Drake Houdashelt, Johnny Eblen and Devin Mellon.
Freshman Barlow McGhee started things for the Tigers, topping Del Vinas of Kent State 3-1. McGhee took Del Vinas down late in the second for a 2-1 lead, and added an escape in the third to give Mizzou an early 3-0 lead.
At 141 pounds, Lavion Mayes's 7-2 overtime win gave Mizzou the lead for good. Mayes had a 2-0 lead after the first, but Small responded by riding Mayes tough on top in the second. Small would escape in the third period and added a point for riding time to tie the match up at 2. In the second sudden victory period, Mayes took Small to his back for two points and a three-point nearfall to win over his Kent State counterpart. Both grapplers shared the No. 4 spot in the most recent MAC rankings at 141 pounds.
Juniors Drake Houdashelt, Johnny Eblen and Devin Mellon all added major decisions to put the dual out of reach. Houdashelt nearly recorded a technical fall over Michael DePalma after a nine-point third period, winning 15-2. Eblen held Cory Campbell scoreless in an 8-0 win, his 20th win of the season. And Mellon closed the door on the Golden Flashes with a 12-1 win over Mimmo Lytle.
The Tigers end the regular season with a 10-2 record and a 7-1 mark in MAC Conference action. It's the 13th consecutive winning season for Brian Smith and Tiger Style wrestling, and the win was Smith's 199th as Mizzou's head coach. Smith picked up his 200th career win last weekend against Old Dominion.
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125 - Barlow McGhee (MIZZ) decision over Del Vinas (KSU), 3-1.(3-0 MIZZ)?
133 - Mack McGuire (KSU) decision over Matt Manley (MIZZ), 4-2.(3-3)?
141 - No. 18 Lavion Mayes (MIZZ) decision over Tyler Small (KSU) in SV2, 7-2.(6-3 MIZZ)?
149 - No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (MIZZ) major dec. over Michael DePalma (KSU), 15-2.(10-3 MIZZ)
157 - No. 4 Ian Miller (KSU) decision over No. 18 Joey Lavallee (MIZZ), 3-2.(10-6 MIZZ)?
165 - No. 12 Zach Toal (MIZZ) decision over T.J. Keklak (KSU), 6-2.?(13-6 MIZZ)
174 - Caleb Marsh (KSU) decision over Mikey England (MIZZ), 2-0.?(13-9 MIZZ)
184 - No. 14 Johnny Eblen (MIZZ) major dec. over Cory Campbell (KSU), 8-0.?(17-9 MIZZ)
197 - No. 2 J'den Cox (MIZZ) decision over Cole Baxter (KSU), 5-0.?(20-9 MIZZ)
HWT - Devin Mellon (MIZZ) major dec. over Mimmo Lytle (KSU), 12-1.(24-9 MIZZ)
Following Mizzou's 24-9 win in the season finale, the squad will have a few weeks off to prepare before returning to Kent State for the 2014 MAC Championships on March 8-9. The Tigers will then close out the 2013-14 campaign at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla., on March 20-22.