Missouri wrestling dominates Northern Illinois 38-3

The Huskies made easy work for Missouri, a week before facing No. 21 Northern Iowa.
Mizzou head coach Brian Smith celebrates from the side of the mat during a home meet facing Oklahoma State.

No. 7 Missouri wrestling continued its dominance in the Mid-American Conference, dismantling Northern Illinois 38-3. The Tigers won nine of 10 matches and had three wrestlers, No. 10 John Erneste, No. 9 Jaydin Eierman and No. 4 Daniel Lewis, win by fall.

“I asked for bonus points and guys to look for turns,” Missouri coach Brian Smith said. “I thought we did a really good job in the first nine matches with that. It was a pretty complete win.”

Mizzou has been on a tear in MAC competition since 2014; this was the Tigers’ 28th-straight dual win over a MAC opponent. Missouri is 10-3 overall and 7-0 in the MAC this year.

In the opening match between 184-pounders Mizzou’s Matt Lemanowicz and NIU’s Bryce Gorman, Lemanowicz took control of the match in the second period. With a takedown 1:29 into the period, Lemanowicz prevented Gorman from escaping for the rest of the period. Setting the tone for the third period, Lemanowicz had two takedowns, near-fall and 1:24 of riding time. He went on to win 10-4.

In the bout between 197-pounders, Tigers No. 1 J’den Cox and No. 12 Shawn Scott, Cox asserted himself early with two takedowns in the first period. The first takedown came just 34 seconds into the match. At the end of the first, Cox led 4-1. He gained another takedown with 42 seconds left in the second, followed by two takedowns in the third en route to a 16-4 major decision win.

Next were the heavyweights, a bout between 285-pounders: the Tigers’ Austin Myers and the Huskies’ Caleb Gossett. Myers jumped to a 6-2 lead in the first period, after two takedowns and a near-fall. But Gossett was able to keep the score close at 6-3 in the second with three escape points. With six seconds left in the second period, Gossett had his breakthrough and brought the score 6-5 headed into the third with a late takedown. Myers held on to win 7-5, gaining an escape point in the third period.

After a scoreless first period between 125-pounders Mizzou redshirt sophomore Aaron Assad and Brock Hudkins, Hudkins scored the first points on a reversal 1:23 into the second period. He would win that period 2-1. This was followed by Assad taking over the match in the third. Assad started with an escape, followed by a takedown with 1:22 left. After an escape by Hudkins, Assad clinched the win with a stalling call on Hudkins to win 5-3.

The action started quickly between 133-pounders as Mizzou’s No. 10 John Erneste took on Alijah Jeffery. Erneste started the match with a takedown just 16 seconds in. Erneste would hold on to a 2-0 lead throughout the second period. In the third, Erneste got a quick escape point and reversal, before pinning Jeffery and winning 4-0 by fall in 5:14.

“It always feels good to end the match before it is meant to end,” Erneste said. “It was frustrating starting off the match. I want to go out there and score points, but people start game planning, and you just have to stick to your system. By the end of it, I finally got him on his back and finished it up.”

Mizzou’s No. 9 Jaydin Eierman followed suit. He shot out to a 6-2 lead in the first over Anthony Rubino. Eierman racked up three takedowns in the period. Then he blew the match open in the second, Eierman got a reversal and a pin. He won 8-2 by fall in 3:21.

“We all plan to go out and get bonus points,” Eierman said. “That’s the main goal of wrestling. It’s like boxing, you want to get a knockout, not a decision. So it was really good to keep it rolling and show that we can go out there and just hammer them, break them and get our falls.”

The only loss on the day for Missouri came from No. 18 Dylan Wisman, who was dominated in the first period by Trace Engelkes, who led 2-0 after the first. After the second, Engelkes was up 4-1. Engelkes scored on a reversal, while Wisman gained his only point of the match on an escape. In the third, Engelkes gained another point from Wisman stalling and won 5-1.

Mizzou’s next match is against No. 21 Northern Iowa on Sunday, Feb. 12 at Hearnes Center.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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