EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. -- SIUE wrestling won the last six matches of Thursday's dual meet against Little Rock, earning a 26-12 triumph in First Community Arena at the Vadalabene Center.
It was the season debut for redshirt senior Nate Higgins. The former NCAA Championships participant was inserted into the lineup late and made the most of his first match, earning an 11-2 major decision over Little Rock's Tristan Tadeo at 174 pounds.
"I'm just trying to get the emotions up and get everyone hyped," said Higgins. "It was a close dual when I came in so I just wanted to put us over the top and make sure we keep that emotion going the rest of the match."
SIUE Head Coach Jeremy Spates watched his team come from behind against the Trojans for its first home win of the season.
"We talk a lot about not giving up bonus points and scoring bonus points ourselves. We had three weight classes where we scored bonus points," said Spates.
SIUE's Justin Ruffin collected a 15-2 win over Jose Champagne at 157 pounds. Along with Higgins' win, Colton McKiernan grabbed a forfeit at heavyweight just after Aric Bohn bested Little Rock's Dylan Johnson at 197 pounds 10-3 to put the match out of Little Rock's reach.
Saul Ervin, Chase Diehl and Austin Andres also were victorious for SIUE.
The Cougars will be back in action Saturday for a 5 p.m. home dual against Northern Illinois.
125: Jayden Carson (Little Rock) over Matt Malavsky (SIUE) (TF 20-2 3:58)
133: Paul Bianchi (Little Rock) over Jacob Blaha (SIUE) (MD 13-4)
141: Saul Ervin (SIUE) over Conner Ward (Little Rock) (Dec 4-1)
149: Tyler Brennan (Little Rock) over Max Kristoff (SIUE) (Dec 4-2)
157: Justin Ruffin (SIUE) over Jose Champagne (Little Rock) (MD 15-2)
165: Chase Diehl (SIUE) over William Edgar (Little Rock) (Dec 4-2)
174: Nate Higgins (SIUE) over Tristan Tadeo (Little Rock) (MD 11-2)
184: Austin Andres (SIUE) over Matthew Muller (Little Rock) (Dec 8-4)
197: Aric Bohn (SIUE) over Dylan Johnson (Little Rock) (Dec 10-3)
285: Colton McKiernan (SIUE) won by forfeit