Houdashelt gets a crack at Alex Richardson for the fourth time this season with the winner advancing to the quarters
March 20, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Missouri Tigers wrestling program has four still vying for an individual national title after the first round of the 2014 NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City. Junior Drake Houdashelt and freshmen J'den Cox, Joey Lavallee and Matt Manley all topped their first round counterparts and will look to advance to Friday morning's quarterfinals tonight. Mizzou sits in the middle of the team race with 5.0 points. Three-time defending champions Penn State lead the field with 16.5 points.
Top-seed Drake Houdashelt majored South Dakota State's Alex Kocer 12-3 in the first round at 149 pounds. Houdashelt got some offense going in the second and third period's, closing out the match with nearfall points late in the third. His 35th win of the season set him up for a MAC-title rematch with Old Dominion's Alex Richardson tonight. Houdashelt and Richardson have met three times in 2014, with Houdashelt owning a 3-0 record head-to-head.
J'den Cox moves on to face No. 15 Braden Atwood (Purdue) tonight after a 10-4 decision over Mario Gonzalez from Illinois. Cox took Gonzalez down four times in the second and third period and nearly had a major decision but the officials didn't grant him a takedown as time expired in the third. Cox, seeded No. 2 at 197 pounds, looks to become the first freshman in Mizzou Wrestling history to win a national championship.
True freshman Joey Lavallee won this afternoon against Duke's Immanuel Kerr-Brown, 10-3 after scoring two takedowns and a three-point nearfall. Tonight, Lavallee will face 157-pounder Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State. The pair have met twice this season already, and Lavallee will look to upset the No. 3 seed. Lavallee holds the No. 14-seed.
In their fifth meeting of the season, Manley upset No. 16 Mack McGuire of Kent State, 7-5 in the second sudden victory period. Manley moves on to face the No. 1 seed Joe Colon (UNI) in a rematch of the MAC Championships.
The second round and first round of wrestlebacks begins tonight at 6 p.m. CT from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Tonight's session will be broadcast on ESPNU and on a computer or mobile device through the WatchESPN app.
SESSION II MATCHUPS
133: (Champ. Round 2) Matt Manley vs. No. 1 Joe Colon (UNI)
141: (Cons. Round 2) Lavion Mayes vs. Avery Garner (Utah Valley)
149: (Champ. Round 2) No. 1 Drake Houdashelt vs. No. 16 Alex Richardson (ODU)
157: (Champ. Round 2) No. 14 Joey Lavallee vs. No. 3 Alex Dieringer (OSU)
165: (Cons. Round 2) Zach Toal vs. Austin Wilson (Nebraska)
174: (Cons. Round 2) Mikey England vs. Shane Hughes (Columbia)
197: (Champ. Round 2) No. 2 J'den Cox vs. No. 15 Braden Atwood (Purdue)
HWT: (Cons. Round 2) Devin Mellon vs. Ty Walls (VT)
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