ATHENS, Ohio -- Good start, outstanding finish.
The Central Michigan wrestling team recorded three pins and a major decision in winning five matches on Friday to top Ohio, 25-15, in a Mid-American Conference dual at the Bobcats' Convocation Center.
The win lifted CMU to 4-4, 4-2 MAC. Ohio, which had won three-consecutive duals, is 5-6, 3-3.
The Chippewas got pins from Drew Hildebrandt (125 pounds), Ben Cushman (184) and Matt Stencel (285) and a 9-1 major from Drew Marten (133). CMU's Landon Pelham (197) won by decision.
The teams split the 10 matches, but Ohio's victories, all of which came consecutively from 141-174, were by decision and none were decided by more than three points.
"That just shows the value of bonus points," said CMU coach Tom Borrelli, whose team wrestles a MAC dual at Cleveland State on Sunday (1 p.m.). "That's how you win dual meets and that's how you score a lot of points in tournaments too. Anytime you win you feel good about yourself and that's important going into Sunday."
Cushman's victory snapped the Bobcats' streak, put the Chippewas back in front, 16-15, and gave CMU a huge emotional lift.
"They really had the momentum going and the crowd was on us pretty good," Borrelli said. "It was crickets after that match."
Cushman, a redshirt freshman, pinned senior Hunter Yeargan. The match was tied 1-1 in sudden victory.
"He just kept wrestling," Borrelli said of Cushman. "He ended up falling into a shot and coming off the bottom and body locking the guy right to his back."
It was Cushman's second straight win, his first pin of the season, and the first dual-meet pin of his career. Cushman had lost 10 of his previous 11 matches before posting a 4-0 win against SIUE two weeks ago.
"The last two matches have helped him a lot," Borrelli said. "The thing with him is he's not a real polished wrestler yet. He's a tough kid, knows how to fight, and he's got some guts. With that you always have a chance. When he develops into a polished wrestler he's going to be dangerous."
• Hildebrandt's pin was his sixth of the season and his third consecutive. It was the fifth-straight victory for the junior, who is ranked 11th nationally and first in the MAC as he improved to 24-3 including 8-0 in duals.
"The thing that was nice tonight he wrestled on his feet more," Borrelli said. "Usually he gets on top and turns you right away. He was a lot more efficient on his feet tonight."
• Stencel, who is ranked fourth nationally and first in the MAC, posted his 12th pin of the season as he won his fifth-consecutive match to improve to 22-4, 7-1 in duals.
• It was Marten's fifth major of the year and his second-straight bonus-point victory after his technical fall win two weeks ago against SIUE. He improved to 16-10.
• Pelham improved to 22-7, 6-2 in duals with his fourth win in his last five matches.
• In one of the more entertaining matches of the night, CMU junior Dresden Simon (141) fell, 8-7, to senior Shakur Laney.
"That was a good match for Dresden," Borrelli said. "It taught him a lot. He got frustrated and lost his composure and I think he can learn from that."
125: Drew Hildebrandt (C) pinned Derek Giallombardo, 6:34
133: Drew Marten (C) major dec. Giovanni DiSabato, 9-1
141: Shakur Laney (O) dec. Dresden Simon, 8-7, TB-1
149: Alec Hagan (O) dec. Corbyn Munson, 6-3
157: Zac Carson (O) dec. Logan Parks, 4-3
165: Joe Terry (O) dec. Tracy Hubbard, 5-3
174: Logan Stanley (O) dec. Jake Lowell, 10-7
184: Ben Cushman (C) pinned Hunter Yeargan, 7:00
197: Landon Pelham (C) dec. Jake Walker, 7-2
285: Matt Stencel (C) pinned Jordan Earnest, 3:46