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    First-Period Falls Help 'Cats Edge Purdue, 21-18

    Pat Greco won his first Big Ten dual Sunday, defeating Nick Lawrence, 5-4.

    Pat Greco won his first Big Ten dual Sunday, defeating Nick Lawrence, 5-4.

    Jan. 29, 2012

    Site: West Lafayette, Ind. (Holloway Gymnasium)
    No. 18 Northwestern 21, Purdue 18
    No. 18 Northwestern (7-4, 3-4 Big Ten), Purdue (7-9, 2-5 Big Ten)
    Next NU Event:
    Friday, Feb. 3, vs. Northern Illinois • 7 p.m. • Welsh-Ryan Arena

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.Jason Welch and Lee Munster made quick work of their Purdue opponents Sunday and scored key bonus points for Northwestern as the ’Cats hung on for a 21-18 victory over the Boilermakers. Welch and Munster both recorded first-period falls (Munster’s came in 13 seconds, the fastest fall this season for any NU wrestler) while Pat Greco, Pierce Harger and Lee Munster also won their bouts Sunday. With the win, NU improves to 7-4 in dual action and 3-4 in the Big Ten.

    "Our guys will not celebrate this win," head coach Drew Pariano said. "We left a few victories out on the mat. Greco stepped up today and I'm proud of him. Welch and Munster were ready to go and it showed with both of them earning first-period falls."

    The first four matches were a back-and-forth affair as Northwestern took the 125 and 141 bouts, but Purdue came back to tie the team score at 133 and 149. No. 9 Levi Mele won his team-leading 22nd match of the season, shutting out Camden Eppert 6-0 at 125. Mele had two takedowns, an escape and 3:00 of riding time in the win.

    Purdue then evened the team score as Matt Fields defeated Jameson Oster 7-1 at 133, but Northwestern bounced back at 141. Pat Greco made the start Sunday and earned his first Big Ten dual victory, edging Nick Lawrence 5-4 at 141. Greco scored the first takedown of the match and had a 3-1 lead at the end of the second. In the third, Lawrence came within one point off an escape, but Greco scored another takedown for the 5-2 lead. Lawrence escaped one last time and was awarded a point for NU stalling, but Greco hung on for the 5-4 win.

    Once again, Purdue tied things up at 149 lbs. as No. 13 Ivan Lopouchanski came back to defeat Kaleb Friedley, 8-6. No. 2 Jason Welch then gave Northwestern a commanding six-point lead as he pinned Tommy Churchard in 1:12 and the ’Cats maintained their lead the rest of the match. With the win, Welch now is a perfect 17-0 on the season and has bonus points in 11 of his 17 matches.

    After the break, Pierce Harger scored the 8-3 decision over Kyle Moiser at 165 lbs. Harger jumped out to a 7-0 lead with a takedown, reversal and three nearfall points. He allowed Moiser to score a reversal and escape but had 2:54 of riding time in the victory.

    No. 13 Lee Munster got back on the winning track and gave Northwestern more key bonus points by pinning Drake Stein in just 13 seconds. Munster’s pin was the fastest fall for any NU wrestler this season and extended the ’Cats lead to 21-6 heading into the final three bouts.

    Purdue would sweep the final three matches of the day, with a first-period fall of its own at 184 lbs., along with decisions at 197 and heavyweight, putting the final score at 21-18 in favor of Northwestern.

    Northwestern is back at Welsh-Ryan Arena Friday, Feb. 3, hosting nonconference foe Northern Illinois. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

    No. 18 Northwestern 21, Purdue 18
    125: No. 9 Levi Mele (NU) dec Camden Eppert (P), 6-0 (3-0 NU)
    133: Matt Fields (P) dec Jameson Oster (NU), 7-1 (3-3)
    141: Pat Greco (NU) dec Nick Lawrence (P), 5-4 (6-3 NU)
    149: No. 13 Ivan Lopouchanski (P) dec Kaleb Friedley (NU), 8-6 (6-6)
    157: No. 2 Jason Welch (NU) pins Tommy Churchard (P), 1:12 (12-6 NU)
    165: Pierce Harger (NU) dec Kyle Moiser (P), 8-3 (15-6 NU)
    174: No. 13 Lee Munster (NU) pins Drake Stein (P), 0:13 (21-6 NU)
    184: No. 19 Braden Atwood (P) pins Marcus Shrewsbury (NU), 1:06 (21-12 NU)
    197: A.J. Kissel (P) dec John Schoen (NU), 7-0 (21-15 NU)
    Hwt: Roger Vukabratovich (P) dec No. 15 Mike McMullan (NU), 3-1 (21-18 NU)


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