DeKALB, Ill. -- No. 19 Kent State (12-3, 6-1 MAC) extended its winning streak to six with a 21-12 victory over Northern Illinois Friday night at the Convocation Center. The Golden Flashes trailed 6-3 before winning 5-of-6 bouts from 149 to 197.
Senior Mack McGuire (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) got the Flashes on the board with a 4-2 victory over Austin Eicher. McGuire's single leg shot for a takedown in the first gave him a lead he would not relinquish.
The night's turning point came at 149 and 157 when Kent State got back-to-back bonus-point wins from seniors Mike DePalma (Jeannette, Pa.) and Ian Miller (Oak Harbor, Ohio). In a 9-1 major decision over Gabe Morse, DePalma jumped out to a 6-0 first period lead with a takedown and four-point turn.
"Those bonus point victories can help our upperweights stay a little more comfortable," Head Coach Jim Andrassy said.
Miller turned an inside trip into a bear hug for a four-point move late in the first period on the way to an 18-3 tech fall over Austin Culton. He then worked a two-on-one tilt in the second and scored three takedowns in the final 30 seconds to clinch the tech fall.
"Ian's consistent," Head Coach Jim Andrassy said. "I don't think he's been taken down this year and I don't think he's been in a bad position all year."
The Flashes' 12-6 lead was extended to 15-6 with Tyler Buckwalter's 1-0 win over Andrew Morse. Buckwalter rode out Morse for the entire second period. Morse repaid the favor in the third but was hit with two stalling calls in the period for hanging on to Buckwalter's ankle.
"Once Tyler had that lead, he didn't need to force anything," Andrassy said.
Senior Cole Baxter (Butler, Pa.) controlled his entire match in an 8-3 win over Quinton Rosser. Baxter worked an inside single leg shot to a double three different times for takedowns.
In the feature match of the night, redshirt freshman Kyle Conel (Ashtabula, Ohio) extended his winning streak to 12 with a 9-5 decision over Shawn Scott. Conel used a double leg shot to a bear hug for his first takedown in the second period. Conel then appeared to be in trouble when Scott sunk in underhooks on both sides, but Conel turned it into a six-point throw.
"It was a whizzer whip, which is really hard to do," Andrassy said of the big move. "That win should secure the second seed in the MAC tournament for him."
Kent State will get back on the road Saturday for their final MAC road test of the year at Northern Iowa.
"If we can win these last three duals, I think we can move up even higher in the rankings," Andrassy said.
125: Alijah Jeffret (NIU) over Del Vinas (KSU), dec. 4-1
133: Mack McGuire (KSU) over Austin Eicher (NIU), dec. 4-2
141: Steve Bleise (NIU) over Anthony Tutolo (KSU), dec. 8-5
149: Mike DePalma (KSU) over Gabe Morse (NIU) maj. dec. 9-1
157: Ian Miller (KSU) over Austin Culton (NIU), tech. fall 18-3
165: Tyler Buckwalter (KSU) over Andrew Morse (NIU), dec. 5-4
174: Shaun'Qae McMurtry (NIU) over Mike Vollant (KSU), dec. 9-3
184: Cole Baxter (KSU) over Quinton Rosser (NIU), dec. 8-3
197: Kyle Conel (KSU) over Shawn Scott (NIU), dec. 9-5
285: Arthur Bunce (NIU) over Devin Nye (KSU), dec. 5-2