MACtion at Hearnes Center: No. 21 Missouri receives last year’s rings, defeats Ohio

The Tigers extended their conference win streak to 17

No. 21 Missouri (6-4, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) extended its MAC win streak to 17 on Friday evening, defeating Ohio (2-5, 0-2 MAC) 22-12 at Hearnes Center.

The Tigers received their rings from last year’s MAC championship before the dual, and they performed like a team that would like to receive new ones at this time next year. The Bobcats consistently kept it close, holding Missouri to only one bonus point, but the Tigers won just enough early matches for No. 13 Grant Leeth and No. 4 Brock Mauller to notch dual-clinching wins to close out the night.

The lone bonus point came courtesy of No. 23 Dylan Wisman, who took down Ohio’s Hunter Yeargen 16-4. Wisman halted a two-match losing streak to push his record to 10-4, midway through what will be his final year with the program as a senior.

Wisman’s victory allowed Missouri to regain an early lead after redshirt freshman Jeremiah Kent was pinned by Logan Stanley at 174 pounds early in the dual. Heavyweight Jake Bohlken was defeated two matches later, which shortened the Tigers’ advantage to one point as the dual rolled over to the 125 and 133-pound weight classes.

Missouri’s lightweights had been an area of concern early in the season, but they took care of business in those two ensuing bouts. Dack Punke trailed 3-1 in the third frame, but scored an escape and a takedown in the final minute to maintain the Tigers’ lead.

Cameron Valdiviez followed, as he was called upon to wrestle at a heavier weight class than usual, and he did not disappoint head coach Brian Smith. Valdiviez defeated Trevor Giallambardo 8-2, giving Missouri a 16-9 lead and setting the table for the Tigers’ best wrestlers.

Leeth (without the famous neck brace) and Mauller took care of business to finish the Bobcats off, albeit in close, low-scoring bouts against ranked opponents. No. 12 Jarrett Jacques was looking to do the same in the final match of the evening, but he was upset for his third loss (first in the MAC) of the season to the Bobcats’ unranked Zac Carson.

Mauller was able to escape with a 2-1 victory due to riding time, while Jacques met the opposite fate for a 3-2 loss. Carson let him escape in the third period after gaining enough riding time, and Jacques couldn’t earn two for takedown in time to salvage a win.

The Tigers traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa for a Big 12 opponent in No. 16 Northern Iowa on Sunday and lost, 20-13. It was Missouri’s fourth matchup with a current NWCA Coaches Poll Top 25 team, and their fourth loss.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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