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CMU bounces back with win over SIUE

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- An outstanding start and a timely momentum-shifting win late helped the Central Michigan wrestling team to a 25-15 victory over SIU Edwardsville in a Mid-American Conference dual on Sunday at McGuirk Arena.

The win lifted CMU to 3-4, 3-2 MAC, and it helped the Chippewas bounce back from Friday's disappointing 25-13 loss to perennial MAC-champion Missouri.

"It was pretty disappointing losing to Missouri because we all felt that we could beat them, but we all bounced back (on Sunday), we all wrestled tough," CMU junior Dresden Simon said. "We didn't let that (loss) affect us today."

How It Happened
The Chippewas got off to a hot start, getting a pin from Drew Hildebrandt (125 pounds), a technical fall from Drew Marten (133), and then a major-decision victory from Simon (141) in building a 15-0 lead.

The Cougars, 1-8, 0-5, struck back with four-consecutive victories including a pin at 157 to forge a 15-15 tie with three matches remaining.

The Chippewas won all three, beginning with Ben Cushman's solid 4-0 victory over Austin Andres at 184.

It snapped a four-match losing streak for Cushman, a redshirt freshman, who last won at the Midlands Championships in late December. Cushman got a takedown in the second period in seizing a 3-0 lead, and then rode Andres for the entire third period to earn the riding-time point as he picked up his first dual-meet victory of the season.

"That's the first time Cushman's won in a little while so that was a really important win for him and for the team," CMU coach Tom Borrelli said. "It was huge for the team. Somebody had to stem the tide when they started getting the momentum. Cushman did that."

Closing it Out
Cushman's win put CMU ahead, 18-15, and then Landon Pelham posted a 15-2 major-decision win at 197 and Matt Stencel won, 7-2, at 285 for the final margin.

It was Pelham's first major of the season as he improved to 14-8. Stencel, who is ranked 12th nationally, improved to 21-4.

Hot Start
Hildebrandt, who is ranked 12th, posted a second-period pin to put the Chippewas up 6-0, and then Marten followed with a 17-1 technical fall. It was his second technical fall of the season.

Hildebrandt (23-3) posted pins in both of the Chippewas' duals on the weekend, giving him five on the season as he improved his dual-meet record to 7-0. Marten (15-10) had lost four of his previous five matches.

Simon, who is ranked 13th, led Saul Ervin, 2-1, after one period, and then hit the gas in the second period, getting a reversal, a takedown and a four-point near fall to increase his advantage to 10-2 after two periods.

It was Simon's second major of the weekend as he improved to 21-7 with 10 majors. He entered the meet ranked second nationally in major-decision victories.

"I remember as a freshman coach talking about trying to score 10 points every match," Simon said. "That's kind of what I try to do, score 10 or more points every match; just keep scoring. I try not to settle.

"A lot of times in the past I would be up by a certain amount of points, maybe five points, and I'm like, alright, this is good enough, and I haven't really felt like that this year. I don't want to wait around for the guy to score on me or lose a match because I'm settling for something."

Next
The Chippewas will hit the road in two weeks for two MAC duals, the first at Ohio on Jan. 31 and the second at league-newcomer Cleveland State on Feb. 2.

"Anytime you have success it's helpful," Borrelli said. "I wouldn't say that we don't have things to work on. That's a good thing, it's what you're looking for when you compete; it's a lot better to have things to work on when you've won than when you've lost.

"We can do a lot of work this week on improving, getting healthy, maybe work on our conditioning some. We have two pretty tough matches in the conference. We just have to have a good week of practice and make sure we're healthy."

Results:
125: Drew Hildebrandt (C) pinned Gage Datlovsky, 1:42
133: Drew Marten (C) tech. fall Jacob Blaha, 4:34, 17-1
141: Dresden Simon (C) major dec. Saul Ervin, 14-4
149: Tyshawn Williams (SIUE) dec. Corbyn Munson, 15-8
157: Justin Ruffin (SIUE) pinned Logan Parks, 1:46
165: Chase Diehl (SIUE) dec. Tracy Hubbard, 6-4, SV-1
174: Kevin Gschwendtner (SIUE) dec. Jake Lowell, 11-6
184: Ben Cushman (C) dec. Austin Andres, 4-0
197: Landon Pelham (C) major dec. Jake McKiernan, 15-2
285: Matt Stencel (C) dec. Colton McKiernan, 7-2

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