Heavyweight Devin Mellon, ranked No. 2 in the MAC Conference, took a 2-1 overtime decision over third-ranked MAC heavyweight Jared Torrence Saturday afternoon
Jan. 25, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. - A young Mizzou Wrestling program was forced to quickly forget about their first dual loss of the season Friday night, and did so by way of a 31-0 shutout victory versus MAC-foe Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon. All 10 Tigers to touch the mat emerged victorious, including a major decision victory by sophomore Cody Johnston in his first career start.
Missouri Head Coach Brian Smith gave Johnston the nod at 184 pounds Saturday afternoon, and the Tiger sophomore didn't disappoint. Johnston was a scoring machine early on, tallying three takedowns and two nearfalls en route to a 13-3 major decision over Caleb Busson, the only bonus point victory on the day. It was his first major decision of the season, and his 11th win in bonus point territory. Johnston was the 18th grappler to make a dual start for the Tigers in six dual meets.
With five freshmen in Mizzou's starting lineup, many young Tigers are starting to grow up quickly, especially after the adversity they faced Friday night in Northern Iowa. Freshman Joey Lavallee went 2-0 on the road trip thanks in large part to a takedown with 11 seconds remaining at 157 pounds. Northern Illinois' Andrew Morse led 3-2 with riding time locked up, and Lavallee found a way to wrap him up with just seconds left. The bout went to overtime, where Lavallee only needed 10 more seconds for a takedown in sudden victory.
"We were knocked down last night by a really good team. I know as a young team they were questioning who we were as a team, and they responded the right way," said Smith following his program's second shutout in two weeks. "I mean, we had (Joey) Lavallee down 3-0 and then coming back to tie it with under 30 seconds to go, and then win it in overtime. And Cody Johnston didn't even know he was wrestling until yesterday, and stepped up big for us, not just by winning but getting bonus points as well. We had the right attitude and right responses to the adversity we faced this weekend. I really enjoy this team, and the character and fight they bring, which we saw today."
Heavyweight Devin Mellon closed out Saturday's matinee dual with a 2-1 overtime victory in what was a big matchup with possible implications for the MAC Conference Championships in March. Mellon and NIU's Jared Torrence traded escapes in the first seven minutes to send the bout to overtime tied at one-a-piece. Mellon and Torrence would go to a tiebreaker, where Mellon would escape and then proceed to keep Torrence from getting his own escape for the win. Mellon, tabbed No. 2 at heavyweight in the conference, backed up his ranking by topping Torrence, ranked No. 3 in the MAC.
The team doesn't slow down for the next couple of weekend's, with two more top-10 matchups coming next weekend when Mizzou heads back on the road for duals against No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 9 Oklahoma State. The squad will then host Buffalo and Eastern Michigan at the Hearnes Center on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 in what will be the first action at the Hearnes Center for the Tigers this year.
Mizzou's matchup on Feb. 7 versus Buffalo will be a part of Mizzou Athletics' annual Beauty and the Beast event, where both Mizzou Wrestling and Mizzou's Gymnastics team compete simultaneously. Tickets for the event are on sale now at MUTigers.com/tickets.
FINAL RESULTS- MIZZOU 31, NIU 0
125 - Barlow McGhee (MIZZ) decision over Nick Harrison (NIU), 4-2. (3-0 MIZZ)
133 - Matt Manley (MIZZ) decision over Nick Smith (NIU), 8-7. (6-0 MIZZ)
141 - Lavion Mayes (MIZZ) decision over Tyler Argue (NIU), 7-3. (9-0 MIZZ)
149 - No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (MIZZ) major decision over Rob Jillard (NIU), 6-2. (12-0 MIZZ)
157 - Joey Lavallee (MIZZ) sudden victory over Andrew Morse (NIU), 6-4. (15-0 MIZZ)
165 - No. 8 Zach Toal (MIZZ) decision over Shaun'Qae McMurtry (NIU), 5-3. (18-0 MIZZ)
174 - No. 18 Mikey England (MIZZ) decision over Matt Mougin (NIU), 7-1. (21-0 MIZZ)
184 - Cody Johnston (MIZZ) major decision over Caleb Busson (NIU), 13-3. (25-0 MIZZ)
197 - No. 5 J'den Cox (MIZZ) decision over Shawn Scott (NIU), 8-5. (28-0 MIZZ)
HWT - Devin Mellon (MIZZ) decision over Jared Torrence (NIU) in TB-1, 2-1. (31-0 MIZZ)
*All Individual Rankings are USA Today/AWN Wrestling
*All Team Rankings are from the NWCA Coaches Poll
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