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    Mele Wins Midlands Rematch, 'Cats Fall to Illini

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Jason Welch improved to 16-0 on the season with a 13-3 major decision over Jackson Morse.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Jason Welch improved to 16-0 on the season with a 13-3 major decision over Jackson Morse.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Jan. 27, 2012

    Site: Champaign, Ill. (Huff Hall)
    Score: No. 8 Illinois 26, No. 18 Northwestern 10
    Records: No. 18 Northwestern (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten), No. 8 Illinois (12-2, 4-2 Big Ten)
    Next NU Event: Sunday, Jan. 29 at Purdue • Noon

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – No. 18 Northwestern visited in-state rival No. 8 Illinois Friday and scored a number of key wins, but the Illini captured the 26-10 dual victory at Huff Hall. No. 9 Levi Mele won his Midlands rematch against No. 5 Jesse Delgado at 125, Jason Welch improved to a perfect 16-0 on the season at 157 and heavyweight Mike McMullan also scored a victory in the dual.

    Tonight's match started at 174 lbs. and Illinois took the first three bouts, including another close decision between NU’s John Schoen and No. 16 Mario Gonzalez at 197. Penalty points played a key role in Friday’s bout as Gonzalez took a 1-0 first-period lead after an illegal slam by Schoen. Gonzalez then added another takedown, but Schoen also was awarded a point at the end of the period due to a misconduct call against Illinois. In the second, Gonzalez added an escape for the 4-1 lead, but Schoen fought for a takedown in the closing seconds and was unable to score. Schoen then added one more point off an escape in the third and once again fought for a takedown in the closing seconds, but Gonzalez hung on for the 4-2 win.

    Northwestern came back though, winning the next two bouts in exciting fashion. At heavyweight, No. 15 Mike McMullan used a takedown with 19 seconds left in sudden victory to defeat Pat Walker, 4-2. McMullan now has won three-straight matches and four of his last five.

    No. 9 Levi Mele also faced a Midlands rematch against No. 5 Jesse Delgado at 125, who gave Mele one of his four losses on the year. Mele avenged that loss Friday, defeating Delgado 13-7. He opened the bout with a 5-0 lead off a takedown and three nearfall points. Mele then took an 8-2 lead after three more back points in the second but Delgado came within three (8-5) after a reversal and stall point. Mele maintained his lead in the third period with an escape, takedown and reversal to secure the 13-7 victory.

    Illinois extended its lead in the team race, winning the next three, but No. 2 Jason Welch got the ’Cats back on the board with a 13-3 major decision over Jackson Morse at 157 lbs. These two met at Midlands with Welch winning the first bout by fall. Friday, he used a takedown, two reversals, six nearfall points and 4:57 of riding time to improve to a perfect 16-0 on the season.

    Northwestern continues its weekend on the road Sunday against Purdue. Match time is set for noon in West Lafayette, Ind.

    No. 8 Illinois 26, No. 18 Northwestern 10
    174: No. 12 Jordan Blanton (I) dec No. 13 Lee Munster (NU), 14-8 (3-0 Ill.)
    184: Tony Dallago (I) maj dec Robert Kellogg (NU), 13-3 (7-0 Ill.)
    197: No. 16 Mario Gonzalez (I) dec John Schoen (NU), 4-2 (10-0 Ill.)
    Hwt. No. 15 Mike McMullan (NU) dec Pat Walker (I), 4-2, SV (10-3 Ill.)
    125: No. 9 Levi Mele (NU) dec No. 5 Jesse Delgado (I), 13-7 (10-6 Ill.)
    133: No. 5 B.J. Futrell (I) pins Jameson Oster (NU), 2:33 (16-6 Ill.)
    141: Daryl Thomas (I) maj dec Colin Shober (NU), 17-6 (20-6 Ill.)
    149: No. 16 Eric Terrazas (I) dec Kaleb Friedley (NU), 9-7 (23-6 Ill.)
    157: No. 2 Jason Welch (NU) maj dec Jackson Morse (I), 13-3 (23-10 Ill.)
    165: No. 10 Conrad Polz (I) dec Pierce Harger (NU), 5-2 (26-10 Ill.)

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