Northern Illinois defeats Drexel to improve to 13-4

DEKALB, Ill. -- The Northern Illinois University wrestling team earned its 13th win of the season when it dispatched of Drexel, 35-3, on Senior Night in Victor E. Court Friday.

It is the Huskies' (13-4, 7-2) first 13-win campaign since 2004-05 when NIU won 14 duals that season. NIU won nine of the 10 bouts on the evening, recording a pair of pins, two major decision wins and scored two wins in overtime.

Bryce West improved to 20-9 on the season when he began the meet with a 7-4 victory at 125. His brother Drew, who was returning to the mat for the first time since Nov. 17, 2019, battled at 133, but fell 6-5.

With the match tied, 3-3, Anthony Gibson put NIU up for good when recorded a fall victory in the first period at 141. Senior McCoy Kent posted an 11-3 maj. dec. win at 149. Mason Kauffman held off Parker Kropman, 5-3, at 157 just before intermission.

Izzak Olejnik scored another bonus-point victory for the Huskies when he earned a 12-2 maj. dec. win over Michael Manley at 165. Kenny Moore outlasted Michael O'Malley at 174. The Huskie senior earned a 4-3 win with a takedown in the first tiebreaker.

Brit Wilson posted a fall victory at 184 in the closing seconds of the first period before Gage Braun recorded a 6-4 win at 197. Max Ihry capped the evening off with a 3-1 overtime victory over Sean O'Malley at 285.

"On a night honoring our seniors, who put so much into the program, it's good to see our guys step up and have a good performance," said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. "McCoy Kent did a good job putting bonus points up for us. Kenny Moore beat an opponent who's ranked in some polls. So that's a great win to build off going into the MAC Championships."

The Huskies return to the mat Saturday, March 7 when NIU plays host to the 2020 Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships at the Convocation Center March 7-8. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

There are also a limited number of exciting premium packages available to wrestling fans. For $175 fans will have access to the Nelson Club for the duration of the tournament. The price includes parking, a food buffet, water, soda, wine, beer and a cash bar. Fans interested in purchasing one of the 75 Nelson Club passes or one of the two suites available should call 815-753-7225.

125: Bryce West (NIU) dec. Antonio Mininno (DU), 7-4
133: Chase Shields (DU) dec. Drew West (NIU), 6-5
141: Anthony Gibson (NIU) fall Tyler Williams (DU), 2:39
149: McCoy Kent (NIU) maj. dec. Vincent Foggia (DU), 11-3
157: Mason Kauffman (NIU) dec. Parker Kropman (DU), 5-3
165: Izzak Olejnik (NIU) maj. dec. Michael Manley (DU), 12-2
174: Kenny Moore (NIU) dec. Michael O`Malley (DU), 4-3 TB-1
184: Brit Wilson (NIU) fall Owen Brooks (DU), 2:54
197: Gage Braun (NIU) dec. Bryan McLaughlin (DU), 6-4
285: Max Ihry (NIU) dec. Sean O`Malley (DU), 3-1 SV-1


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