Tiger redshirt freshman Lavion Mayes emerged victorious Thursday night with a 6-4 decision over 2012 All American Nick Lester
Jan. 30, 2014
NORMAN, Okla. - After a full 10 matches, the tenth-ranked Tigers will leave Norman, Okla., on Thursday night with a 18-15 win over the No. 6 Sooners under their belt. Fueled by top-10 victories from Drake Houdashelt and J'den Cox, and sealed by a Devin Mellon decision over No. 16 Ross Larson at heavyweight, Brian Smith's squad improved to 6-1 on the season. The win was the program's 11th over the Sooners all-time.
Down 15-12 with only two bouts remaining, true freshman J'den Cox and junior heavyweight Devin Mellon found a way to put the Tigers back on top. Cox, ranked fifth at 197 pounds, further engraved his name among the nation's elite by way of a 6-1 decision over the nation's third-ranked Travis Rutt. Cox's win was his fifth over wrestlers ranked higher than him this season at 197 pounds. The decision knotted the dual up at 15-a-piece, with the deciding bout up next at heavyweight.
The Tigers needed a Devin Mellon victory, and he answered the call, winning by decision 6-0 over No. 16 Ross Larson. Mellon scored first, which proved to be all that he would need over the Sooner's heavyweight. Mellon led 2-0 after the first three minutes, scoring a takedown on a Larson mistake. He would add an escape and another takedown in the second, and would win by decision 6-0 with 3:07 of riding time.
"We won some big matches. I'm really proud of our guys," said Smith of the victory. "They stuck to game plans and wrestled hard for a full seven minutes. They grew up tonight. We were throttled at Northern Iowa, but came out the next day and responded at Northern Illinois. And they responded again tonight. We need to celebrate it for a little bit, and then we need to forget about it and refocus. We have another big matchup tomorrow in Stillwater."
Mizzou won six of 10 matches Thursday evening, all by decision. Among those victors were Lavion Mayes and Drake Houdashelt, as both disposed of their ranked counterpart. At 141 pounds, Mayes won his first collegiate bout over a former All-American, topping Oklahoma's No. 15 Nick Lester 6-4. Lester gained All-American status in 2012.
The No. 1-Houdashelt followed suit, squeaking past No. 2 Kendric Maple with a 3-2 decision at 149 pounds. Mizzou's junior captain improves to 26-1 on the season, and now has wins against Maple and Minnesota's Nick Dardanes, who both have held the top-spot at 149 pounds this season.
Mizzou will make the short drive to Stillwater, Okla., for another top-10 matchup on Friday evening at historic Gallagher-IBA Arena. The Tigers fell twice to the Cowboys last season, who are coming off of a 29-3 victory over Iowa State last weekend. Friday's dual will again feature a plethora of ranked wrestlers, including another tough test at 149-pounds for Houdashelt, who will compete against No. 7 Josh Kindig. Wrestling will again get going at 7 p.m Friday evening.
RESULTS: MIZZOU 18, OKLAHOMA 15
125: Barlow McGhee dec. Sean Williams (OU), 3-1
133: No. 8 Cody Brewer (OU) tech. fall. Matt Manley (Missouri), 18-3
141: Lavion Mayes dec. No. 15 Nick Lester (OU), 6-4
149: No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) dec. No. 2 Kendric Maple (OU), 3-2
157: No. 18 Justin DeAngelis (OU) dec. Joey Lavallee (Missouri), 5-3
165: Clark Glass (OU) dec. Jordan Gagliano (Missouri), 6-2
174: No. 18 Mikey England (Missouri) dec. Derek Geiges (OU), 6-1
184: Andrew Howe (OU) maj. dec. Cody Johnston (Missouri), 22-9
197: No. 6 J'den Cox (Missouri) dec. No. 3 Travis Rutt (OU), 6-1
285: Devin Mellon (Missouri) dec. No. 16 Ross Larson (OU), 6-0
The squad will be back home for the first time in 2014 to compete against Buffalo on Feb. 7. The dual will be part of the annual Beauty and the Beast event, where the Missouri Wrestling and Gymnastics teams will compete simultaneously. Tickets for the event are on sale now at MUTigers.com/tickets.
Mizzou Wrestling will be right back in action at home on Feb. 8 against Eastern Michigan, looking to close out the weekend with two more conference wins under their belt.
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