Redshirt freshmen Blake Pepper and Matthew Lemanowicz made the most of their opportunity in the lineup, pinning their way to victories
Jan. 11, 2014
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - The seventh-ranked Mizzou Tigers (3-0) extended their winning streak to 13 dual wins over a 15-year period with a 40-0 victory over the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars (3-9) Saturday night. Redshirt freshmen Blake Pepper and Matthew Lemanowicz both won their collegiate debuts, posting back-to-back pins at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively.
Pepper met up with SIUE's Karsten Van Velsor, who he defeated in the finals at the Joe Parisi Open earlier this season, 9-7. The two traded a flurry of points throughout the first period, as Pepper took Van Velsor down first before being reversed eight seconds later. Pepper regained the lead quickly though with a reversal of his own, and added a takedown halfway through the frame to take a 6-3 advantage after three minutes. The Mizzou redshirt freshman started on bottom in the second, and escaped before scoring another two-point takedown. Pepper held Van Velsor down, and finally turned him onto his back for a pin at 4:02.
Immediately after at 157 pounds, redshirt freshman Matthew Lemanowicz followed suit with a pin of his own in what was his dual collegiate debut as well. Lemanowicz carried a 4-1 lead into the third period over Logun Taylor before reversing and adding two more on a takedown versus his SIUE counterpart. With under a minute to go, Lemanowicz rolled Taylor into danger, and at the 6:10 mark, the official smacked the mat and awarded the fall. The two pins increased the Tigers lead to 22-0 before a quick intermission.
True freshman J'den Cox also added a pin at 197 pounds with a cradle over Chris Johnson with less than 30 seconds to go in the first period.
Saturday's victory is the Tigers' third shutout in the past two seasons, as the Tigers blanked Old Dominion and Baker in 2012-13. The win also increases Mizzou's all-time record versus SIUE to 21-4, and marks the 13th straight victory over the Cougars over a 15-year span. The two squads have faced off the past four seasons, with the Tigers outscoring SIUE, 173-3.
Following this non-conference victory, the Tigers are now slated for three conference battles, beginning on the road at Central Michigan on January 19. The Chippewas are 2-1 in Mid-American Conference action following a 24-15 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday night.
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