EVANSTON, Ill. -- A technical fall by Alex Griffin and a Jacob Morrissey pin were key to Purdue's 20-16 win over Northwestern inside Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday. The bonus points were the edge as both teams claimed victory at five weights. With the win, the Boilermakers evened their Big Ten Conference record at 1-1 and improved to 6-2 overall, while Northwestern slipped to 5-3 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten duals.
"It's always good to get a conference win and this one was a good team win," Purdue head wrestling coach Tony Ersland said. "We won the dual on the strength of two dominating performances by Alex Griffin and Jacob Morrissey. Jeremy Golding's win is also noteworthy because he stepped up and won a big match for us, that definitely was a highlight."
A hard fought 6-2 decision at 149 pounds was sealed for Golding by taking down Northwestern's Shayne Oster late in the third period. Golding recorded a takedown in the first and reversed Oster in the second to build a 4-1 lead after 5:00 of action.
Griffin gave the Boilermakers a 14-3 lead heading into the intermission thanks to a 16-0 technical fall against Ben Sullivan. The 157-pounder held a 14-0 lead after the opening period and five seconds into the second period he reversed the Wildcat to end the match. The technical fall is the 10th of the redshirt senior's final campaign as he lifted his season mark to 21-8.
After a decision by the Wildcats at 165 pounds, Morrissey came out and made quick work of Braxton Cody, pinning him in 50 seconds. The fall was the second in as many dual matches for the redshirt junior who hails from Oconto Falls, Wisconsin. It was also the second pin of his career that has come in less than 60 seconds.
The six team points from Morrissey were pivotal with Northwestern closing out the dual with decisions at 184, 197 and 285. Purdue opened the dual with back-to-back decisions from Ben Thornton (20-8) and Luke Welch (14-7) at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively.
"Coming out of this dual and heading into Indiana on a shorter week, I expect to see a jump in our performance," Ersland said. "We had very good training before and after the winter break. We have to continue to wrestle our match and that's what we are going to focus on this week. Friday should be a lot of fun."
For the first time in over a decade, Purdue wrestling will take to Mackey Arena to square off against in-state rival Indiana in Mackey Mayhem at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. Tickets start at just $1 and can be purchased here. The first 1,000 fans get a free Purdue wrestling foam finger. Admission is free to Purdue wrestling alumni. Alum should register here to be recognized at intermission.
• Purdue won its third straight over the Wildcats to take a 45-41-2 lead in the all-time series.
• Sunday's starting lineup was the sixth different lineup the Boilermakers have used this season … Tyler Kral made his 10th consecutive start dating to last season, which is currently the longest streak for Purdue.
• Purdue scored the first points in eight of the 10 bouts.
• With eight back points, Alex Griffin moved into the season record back points top five with 148 … he also hit 300 career back points in his career, which ranks fourth all-time … he registered his 10th technical fall of the season and 20th of his career … thirty percent of his 67 career wins are by technical fall.
• Ben Thornton notched the 35th win of his career.
125 / Ben Thornton (Purdue) dec. Anthony Rubinetti (Northwestern) 13-6
133 / Luke Welch (Purdue) dec. Jason Ipsarides (Northwestern) 8-2
141 / Alec McKenna (Northwestern) dec. Kyle Ayersman (Purdue) 1-0
149 / Jeremy Golding (Purdue) dec. Shayne Oster (Northwestern) 6-2
157 / Alex Griffin (Purdue) tech fall Ben Sullivan (Northwestern) 16-0 (3:05)
165 / Johnny Sebastian (Northwestern) major decision Dylan Lydy (Purdue) 12-4
174 / Jacob Morrissey (Purdue) pinned Braxton Cody (Northwestern) 0:50
184 / Mitch Sliga (Northwestern) dec. Tanner Lynde (Purdue) 11-7
197 / No. 19 Jacob Berkowitz (Northwestern) dec. Christian Brunner (Purdue) 7-5
285 / Conan Jennings (Northwestern) dec. Tyler Kral (Purdue) 2-0