Jan. 10, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After falling to the nation's top ranked heavyweight three times in 2012-13 -- but closing the gap each time -- Northwestern's Mike McMullan defeated reigning NCAA champ Tony Nelson of Minnesota in dual action Friday.
McMullan recorded a 3-1 overtime victory against Nelson at Welsh-Ryan Arena to end the dual match on a high note for the Wildcats.
Collectively, however, No. 2 Minnesota defeated the 'Cats, 26-12, improving the Gophers' record to 5-0 and 2-0 in the Big Ten. NU won four matches on the evening but moved to 6-2 overall and 1-2 in the league with the loss.
In the highly anticipated heavyweight bout -- a rematch of last year's NCAA championship matchup -- Nelson scored first with an escape in the second period. McMullan tied the score with an escape in the third period. The two ranked foes went into extra time still tied at one apiece, but McMullan wasted no time in the extra frame and quickly took down Nelson in sudden victory for the win.
WATCH: Mike McMullan Talks About His Win Against Tony Nelson
Garrison White (7-6) began the match with a 6-0 decision against Minnesota's Jordan Kingsley (10-6) to give Northwestern a 3-0 lead.
Minnesota took their first lead of the match when David Thorn (14-2), ranked No. 10 at 133 lbs, built an early advantage and never backed down. Thorn defeated Dominick Malone (10-5) by a major decision, 16-5, to give Minnesota a 4-3 edge in the team score.
No. 5 Chris Dardanes (19-2) won a close 3-2 decision over Pat Greco (12-5). The bout was tied 2-2 after the second period until Dardanes scored the winning point on an escape in the third period.
In the pairing of ranked wrestlers on the evening, NU redshirt freshman Jason Tsirtsis (16-3), ranked No. 5 at 149 lbs., fell to No. 2 Nick Dardanes (19-1). Dardanes scored first with a takedown but Tsirstis quickly followed up with two escapes to tie the score, 2-2. Tsirstis efforts fell short and Dardanes pulled away in the third period by a 5-3 decision to give Minnesota its 10th unanswered point in the match.
No. 9 Pierce Harger started the bout against Minnesota's Danny Zilverberg with two takedowns and built an early 4-0 lead. Harger scored again on an escape and increased his lead to five in the second period. Zilverberg fought back and scored five points in the third period -- including a two-point near-fall -- to tie the bout. Harger stole back the lead and won the bout 7-5.
No. 9 Lee Munster earned the 'Cats' third victory of the match. Munster defeated Alec Ortiz by a 4-1 decision to narrow Minnesota's lead to seven points.
Minnesota answered with a win in the 184-pound matchup. No. 10 Kevin Steinhaus (6-2) defeated Jacob Berkowitz (8-7) by a 14-5 major decision, putting Minnesota up 20-9.
The second ranked matchup of the dual featured No. 1 Scott Schiller against No. 18 Alex Polizzi at 197 pounds. Schiller led Polizzi 4-2 at the end of the first period. Polizzi erased Schiller's lead with a takedown but ultimately lost by fall.
Next up for Drew Pariano'sWildcats is a challenging road swing to Ohio State on Friday, Jan. 17, followed by a visit to the three-time defending NCAA champion Penn State Nittany Lions on Sunday, Jan. 19.
No. 2 Minnesota 26, No. 16 Northwestern 12
125: Garrison White (Northwestern) won by decision over Jordan Kingsley (Minnesota), 6-0. NU 3-0
133: David Thorn (Minnesota) won by major decision over Dominick Malone (Northwestern) 16-5. Minn: 4 NU: 3
141: Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) won by decision over Pat Greco (Northwestern) 3-2. Minn: 7 NU: 3
149: Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) won by decision over Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) 5-3. Minn: 10 NU: 3
157: Brandon Kinglsey (Minnesota) won by pin over Dylan Marriott (Northwestern) 1:00. Minn: 16 NU: 3
165: Pierce Harger (Northwestern) won by decision over Danny Zilverberg (Minnesota) 7-5 Minn: 16 NU: 6
174: Lee Munster (NU) won by decision over Alec Ortiz (Minnesota) 4-1 Minn: 16 NU: 9
184: Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) won by major decision over Jacob Berkowitz (Northwestern) 14-5 Minn: 20 NU: 9
197: Scott Schiller (Minnesota) won by pin over Alex Polizzi (Northwestern) 4:05. Minn: 26 NU: 9
HWY: Mike McMullan (Northwestern) won in sudden victory 1 over Tony Nelson (Minnesota) 3-1 Minn: 26 NU: 12
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