Feb. 16, 2014
RESULTS: Mizzou 21, ODU 9
COLUMBIA, Mo. -
On an afternoon where the seniors were honored, it was a true freshman that turned the tide Sunday as the No. 10 Missouri Tigers (9-2, 6-1) defeated Old Dominion (8-9, 4-3), 21-9. Head Coach Brian Smith
recorded his 200th career win as the Tigers remain a perfect 8-0-1 all-time against the Monarchs.
At 157 pounds, true freshman Joey Lavallee turned in one of his premiere performances of the season, breaking a 6-6 tie with a 7-2 decision over 19th-ranked Tristan Warner. After nearly two scoreless minutes, Lavallee got on the board first with a takedown at 1:04. Mizzou's Lavallee would take a 2-1 advantage into the third and would waste no time increasing it, getting a takedown at 1:48 followed by two backpoints. Lavallee finished his match with 2:58 of ride time advantage in a 7-2 decision, which marked his first collegiate win over a ranked opponent.
"We stopped a hot team," Smith said following his program's ninth win of the season. "Probably the big turnaround was at 157. Getting a win over (Tristan) Warner was a big one. And not just winning, but getting a couple takedowns and even backpoints. Our freshmen just keep growing up under our eyes, it's really nice to see."
With the dual tied at 3-3, No. 20 Lavion Mayes took to the mat against No. 4 Chris Mecate. Points were hard to come by in the day's only top-20 matchup, with Mayes taking a 1-0 lead on Mecate's second stalling warning near the end of the second period. Despite the stall warnings, Mecate rode Mayes for the entire frame and would open up the third period in the down position with two minutes of ride time advantage. Mecate escaped to open the third period, tying the match at 1-1, and would eventually win by virtue of 1:52 riding time.
Then the tide would begin to turn.
Drake Houdashelt picked up his 30th win of the season with a 4-1 decision over No. 14 Alex Richardson, knotting the dual at six-a-piece. Houdashelt, the top 149-pounder In the country, topped Richardson despite not recording a single takedown. Mizzou's junior-captain would pick up three easy points by way of two illegal holds and two stalling warnings against Richardson, and would add a fourth point with 1:35 of ride time. A scary moment happened in the closing moments of the second as Houdashelt attempted a takedown, and Richardson appeared to land on his neck. It was ruled an illegal takedown on Houdashelt and Richardson was awarded a point. Houdashelt's 4-1 decision is his second win over ODU's Richardson this season, with the first, a 3-2 decision, coming on Jan. 2 at the Southern Scuffle.
After Lavallee's crucial victory at 157, senior Zach Toal picked up one final home win on his senior day. Toal, ranked No. 12 at 165 pounds, held a 4-0 lead over counterpart Devin Geoghegan headed into the third. Geoghegan would cut into Toal's lead with an escape and a takedown, but Toal would escape and add a point for 1:23 of riding time en route to his final victory at the Hearnes Center, a 6-3 decision.
The final three Tigers would all prove victorious to close out Mizzou's 21-9 victory. Captain Johnny Eblen won in dramatic fashion with a takedown in the closing seconds for a 7-5 win over Jack Dechow. Freshman J'den Cox sealed the deal for the Tigers with a 9-2 victory over Kevin Beazley to put the Tigers up 18-9. Devin Mellon and Matt Tourdot would need overtime to decide the heavyweight matchup, but Mellon's takedown 21 seconds into sudden victory capped off Mizzou's 21-9 MAC Conference win.
With this victory, coach Brian Smith won his 200th matchup in his 17th year as a head coach. Smith is in his 16th year as Mizzou Wrestling's head coach, where's he's accumulated 198 wins. His two other wins came during his one-year stint at Syracuse in 1997-98.
"It's nice, but it's actually 200 wins for a bunch of young men. I just sit on the bench and try not to screw it up," Smith joked after his milestone victory. "But it's nice because I think about all the people who were a part of that, including my wife who's put up with me for that long."
During his tenure at Mizzou, Smith has coached 18 All-Americans to 31 top-eight finishes at the NCAA Championships, including national champions in Ben Askren (2006 & 2007), Mark Ellis (2009) and Max Askren (2010). With Smith at the helm, the Tigers have been one of the nation's most prolific programs over the past decade, posting 13-consecutive winning seasons.
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RESULTS: Mizzou 21 - Old Dominion 9
125 - Brandon Jeske (ODU) decision over Barlow McGhee (MIZZ), 7-1. (3-0 ODU)
133 - Matt Manley (MIZZ) decision over Michael Hayes (ODU), 2-1. (3-3)
141 - No. 4 Chris Mecate (ODU) decision over No. 20 Lavion Mayes (MIZZ), 2-1. (6-3 ODU)
149 - No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (MIZZ) decision over No. 14 Alex Richardson (ODU), 4-1. (6-6)
157 - Joey Lavallee (MIZZ) decision over No. 19 Tristan Warner (ODU), 7-2. (9-6 MIZZ)
165 - No. 12 Zach Toal (MIZZ) decision over Devin Geoghegan (ODU), 6-3. (12-6 MIZZ)
174 - Billy Curling (ODU) decision over Mikey England (MIZZ), 10-3. (12-9 MIZZ)
184 - No. 14 Johnny Eblen (MIZZ) decision over Jack Dechow (ODU), 7-5. (15-9 MIZZ)
197 - No. 2 J'den Cox (MIZZ) decision over Kevin Beazley (ODU), 9-2. (18-9 MIZZ)
HWT - Devin Mellon (MIZZ) decision over Matt Tourdot (ODU) in SV1, 7-5. (21-9 MIZZ)