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    Illinois handles Purdue

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois wrestling won seven straight matches, highlighted by a pin from Kyle Langenderfer, as the Orange and Blue defeated the Purdue Boilermakers, 30-6, on Sunday afternoon at Huff Hall. After winning three of the first four matches to start the dual, Kyle Langenderfer, Isaiah Martinez and Zac Brunson scored a combined 15 points to clinch the victory. Illinois improves to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten.

    "I think our guys are doing some better things, getting better in certain spots," said Head Coach Jim Heffernan after the match. "We still got some things we need to iron out, but we still go a month until the Big Ten Tournament."

    After Purdue's 125-pounder Ben Thornton gave the Boilers an early 3-0 lead, the Fighting Illini strung together seven straight victories and 27 team points.

    No. 6 Zane Richards got the scoring started with an 8-2 decision over Nate Limmex at 133 pounds. The Illini senior used three takedowns and riding time to pick up his 101st career victory, tying him with current Illini volunteer assistant coach Jesse Delgado for 22nd place on the all-time list.

    With the dual tied, 3-3, the Illini picked up hard-fought decisions from Mousa Jodeh (11-13) and No. 20 Eric Barone (8-5) to take the momentum of the match. Following a scoreless first period, Jodeh received a penalty point after Kyle Ayersman was twice called for stalling, and then earned an escape to win the match, 2-1. Barone added three more points to Illinois' score with a 4-1 decision against Nate Limmex. The two 149-pounders traded escapes, but Barone's 1:20 ride to start the third period, coupled with a late takedown, gave the Illini a 9-3 lead over Purdue.

    Illinois' strength at the middleweights showed again on Sunday, as No. 12 Kyle Langenderfer, No. 1 Isaiah Martinez, No. 12 Zac Brunson and No. 12 Emery Parker tallied 18 points, stretching the team lead to 27-3.

    Langenderfer (20-4) notched his fifth fall of the season in the first period against Purdue's Mario Leveille, pinning the Boilermaker in one minute, 50 seconds. With his eighth straight victory, Langenderfer becomes the fourth Illini to reach the 20-win plateau this season, joining Martinez, Brunson and Parker.

    "I thought my approach was pretty good, I was kind of slow early," explained Langenderfer. "I knew Purdue likes to slow you down, hold on to you, and make sure there's no space, and I fell into that early in the match. I got that takedown, which is something I've been working on with the coaches, lifting, and ended up getting the fall there."

    After the six points from Langenderfer, Martinez (21-0) continued the onslaught with 12 takedowns, including five in the first period, to dispatch of Dylan Lydy by technical fall, 25-10. The 12 takedowns are the most by an Illini in a dual meet this season, while the technical fall is Martinez's ninth of the season.

    Brunson (24-5) used a dominant first period to earn a major decision against Jacob Morrissey at 174-pounds, extending the Illini lead to 24-3. After scoring 12 back points on Friday at Northwestern, Brunson added eight more on Sunday to pick up the 13-1 victory. The win is the 99th of Brunson's Illini career, taking sole possession of 24th place in program history.

    Finishing off the 27-0 Illini run was Emery Parker, winning 8-4 against Tanner Lynde. After Lynde took a 2-0 lead into the second period, Parker fought back with an escape and two takedowns in the to take the lead. After an escape by Lynde to start the final period closed the gap to 5-4, Parker issued a third takedown along with riding time to finish off Lynde.

    After Purdue's Christian Brunner gave the Boilers their final victory of the day with a 2-0 decision at 197 pounds, Brooks Black (10-5) closed out the match with an escape in period two and a riding time point, shutting out Tyler Kral 2-0.

    Up next, the Fighting Illini will carry their six-match winning streak into University Park, Pennsylvania for a dual against No. 2 Penn State at 6 p.m. central time on Friday, February 10.

    Illini Notes:

  • Illinois improves to 54-27-2 all-time against the Boilermakers, including 34-12-1 in Champaign.
  • The Illini have won six consecutive matches dating back to their 34-6 victory against No. 13 Michigan on January 20. The Illini are 8-2 in duals this season, 5-2 in the Big Ten.
  • Zane Richards' 8-2 victory marks the 101st of his career, tying him with current Illini volunteer assistant Jesse Delgado for 22nd on Illinois' all-time list.
  • Isaiah Martinez tallied a team-high 12 takedowns in today's 25-10 victory against Dylan Lydy. Martinez is a perfect 21-0 on the season, scoring bonus points in 18 of his 21 victories.
  • Martinez's 25 points in today's match marks the second most of the season for the redshirt junior. Martinez scored 30 points in a technical fall of Jeremiah Moody (Iowa) at the UNI Open earlier this season.
  • Zac Brunson's 12-1 win is the 99th of his career, taking over sole possession of 24th place all-time. His next victory will make him the 24th Illini to reach the century mark in career victories.
  • Kyle Langenderfer notched his eighth straight victory to improve to 20-4 on the season. During his eight-match winning streak, Langenderfer has scored 26 team points for the Illini

    Results:
    125: Ben Thornton (PUR) dec. Travis Piotrowski (ILL), 4-0 PUR 3, ILL 0
    133: #6 Zane Richards (ILL) dec. Luke Welch (PUR), 8-2 ILL 3, PUR 3
    141: Mousa Jodeh (ILL) dec. Kyle Ayersman (PUR), 2-1 ILL 6, PUR 3
    149: #20 Eric Barone (ILL) dec. Nate Limmex (PUR), 4-1 ILL 9, PUR 3
    157: #12 Kyle Langenderfer (ILL) fall Mario Leveille (PUR), 1:50 ILL 15, PUR 3
    165: #1 Isaiah Martinez (ILL) tech fall Dylan Lydy (PUR), 25-10 ILL 20, PUR 3
    174: #12 Zac Brunson (ILL) maj. dec. Jacob Morrissey (PUR), 13-1 ILL 24, PUR 3
    184: #12 Emery Parker (ILL) dec. Tanner Lynde (PUR), 8-4 ILL 27, PUR 3
    197: Christian Brunner (PUR) dec. Andre Lee (ILL), 2-0 ILL 27, PUR 6
    HWT: #15 Brooks Black (ILL) dec Tyler Kral (PUR), 2-0 ILL 30, PUR 6
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