Missouri wrestling suffers first loss of season 19-15 to old Big 12 rival Oklahoma State

“The same thing happened last year in the dual against [Oklahoma State], and it was just a big spark plug to get the pin, and to do it in front of that crowd here at Hearnes was awesome,” Jaydin Eierman said of his match win.
Zach Elam, left, and No. 2 Derek White grapple for position during sudden victory of the heavyweight dual of the Missouri vs. Oklahoma State wrestling meet on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 at Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.

The much-anticipated matchup between No. 5 Missouri and No. 2 Oklahoma State turned into a back-and-forth affair that ended in a 19-15 victory for Oklahoma State (14-0).

While this loss snapped Missouri’s streak of 35 consecutive wins in dual play, a mix of established veterans and a group of impressive freshmen have Missouri (15-1) poised as favorite to win the MAC Championships in March.

“I know we are a really good team, and today didn’t work out, but streaks don’t really matter,” coach Brian Smith said. “It’s what we did in the two hours of this meet that matters.”

Despite losing the first bout 11-2 and the second 9-2, leaving it down 7-0 early, Missouri battled Oklahoma State the remainder of the dual.

As the record-breaking crowd of 4,721 erupted at Hearnes Center following Jaydin Eierman’s win by fall in the second period of the 133 weight class, Missouri swung 6 points to cut Oklahoma State’s lead to 1 point heading into the 149 round.

For the second year in a row, Eierman was once again the first Tiger to get points on the board against the Cowboys, earning Missouri’s first 6 points on his thirteenth victory by fall of the season. Saturday to cut into Oklahoma State’s early lead.

“The same thing happened last year in the dual against [Oklahoma State] and it was just a big spark plug to get the pin, and to do it in front of that crowd here at Hearnes was awesome,” Eierman said.

Following Eierman’s electrifying performance, former high school teammates and true freshmen No. 7 Brock Mauller and No. 17 Jarrett Jacques helped build Missouri’s lead in the first five rounds.

With the crowd still in a frenzy, Mauller (25-1) battled against No. 5 Kaden Gfeller in the 149 round. In the second period, he got two crucial points with a takedown in the closing seconds to set himself up for a 10-4 decision that gave Missouri its first lead of the day at 9-7.

Following his 25th victory of the season Saturday against Oklahoma State, Mauller is now ranked second behind 2016 Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox in program history for wins in a freshman season.

“Brock Mauller continues to do some really good things. He just beat a really good kid, and put himself in the hunt for a national title,” coach Smith said in the closing seconds of his opening statement to the media.

Next up in the 157 class, Jacques won a defensive match 6-5 against Wyatt Sheets to give Missouri a 12-7 lead going into the intermission.

No. 14 Connor Flynn squared off against No. 10 Chandler Rogers of Oklahoma State following the break in the 165 weight class. Despite a late takedown from Flynn in the third period, Rogers still secured the three points for Oklahoma State by a final score of 7-5 to move the team score to 12-10 heading into arguably the best matchup of the night in the 174 round.

No. 2 Daniel Lewis secured his 20th win of the season for Missouri by a score of 7-0 thanks to a takedown in the first and third periods against a formidable opponent in No. 6 Joe Smith.

After the 174 round, Missouri had a five-point cushion with a 15-10 lead, but with three of Oklahoma State’s best wrestlers due up in the 184 with No. 8 Jacobe Smith, No. 6 Preston Weigel in the 197, and in the 285 with No. 2 Derek White, the dual was headed for a nail-biting finish.

After Smith defeated No. 16 Dylan Wisman by a score of 7-3 in the 184 round and Wyatt Koelling lost to Weigel in the 197 round, Oklahoma State took a one point, 16-15 lead heading into the heavyweight round.

Both heavyweight wrestlers took a defensive approach, and the match headed into sudden death after a 1-1 score through three periods.

Although the home crowd in Columbia, Missouri was deafening in the sudden death period, they were quickly silenced as White pinned MU freshman Zach Elam to secure the win for Oklahoma State and give Missouri its first loss of the season.

Missouri looks to close the regular season out with a victory on the road next Sunday, Feb. 24 against Iowa State before postseason play begins.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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