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    'Cats Improve to 5-0 in Nonconference Action, Defeat NIU 24-18

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Freshman Jameson Oster had an 11-2 major decision over NIU's Rob Jillard in Friday's dual.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Freshman Jameson Oster had an 11-2 major decision over NIU's Rob Jillard in Friday's dual.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Feb. 3, 2012

    Watch Match Highlights

    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
    Score: No. 19 Northwestern 24, Northern Illinois 18
    Records: No. 19 Northwestern (8-4, 3-4 Big Ten), Northern Illinois (6-8, 0-4 MAC)
    Next NU Event: Saturday, Feb. 11 vs. North Carolina (3:30 p.m.), at Campbell (5:15 p.m.) • Bules Creek, N.C.

    EVANSTON, Ill. - No. 19 Northwestern took a break from its Big Ten dual schedule Friday night and won its eighth match of the year, defeating Northern Illinois, 24-18, at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wildcats won six of 10 bouts, including four with bonus points, improving to a perfect 5-0 in nonconference action.
     
    Northwestern jumped out to a commanding 17-3 lead before the break, winning four of the first five bouts. No. 10 Levi Mele got things started for the 'Cats with a 3-0 decision over No. 20 Nick Smith at 125. Mele scored on a third-period reversal and racked up 3:09 of riding time for his 23rd win of the year and fourth over a ranked opponent.
     
    True freshman Jameson Oster kept the momentum alive for NU with an 11-2 major decision over Rob Jillard at 133. Oster had a 6-0 lead early in the third period and added two more takedowns along with 2:09 of riding time to give Northwestern four team points and extend the lead to 7-0.

    Watch Match Highlights

    NIU took a close 3-1 decision at 141 lbs., but Kaleb Friedley and No. 2 Jason Welch got the 'Cats back on the board before the break with bonus points at 149 and 157, respectively. Friedley scored a 12-3 major decision over Tyler Argue while Welch pinned Tyler Loethen in 5:13. Friedley did most of his damage in the first period, taking a 7-1 lead with two takedowns and three nearfall points. He then added two reversals in the second and had 4:01 of riding time in the win. Welch jumped out to a 7-0 lead before pinning Loethen in the third period. Welch is now 18-0 on the year with bonus points in 12 of his victories.
     
    The 'Cats continued their winning ways after the break with victories at 165 and 174 and took the 24-3 lead heading into the last three matches of the evening. Pierce Harger scored an 8-0 major decision over Matt Mougin at 165 while No. 12 Lee Munster defeated Caleb Busson 4-1 at 174.
     
    NIU won the final three bouts, but Northwestern emerged with the 24-18 dual victory. NU redshirt senior Ben Kuhar wrestled in his first match of the season, filling in for No. 13 Mike McMullan at heavyweight. Kuhar put up a fight in his first appearance of the year, but Jared Torrence won by fall in the closing seconds of the bout (6:48).
     
    Northwestern is off from competition the remainder of the weekend but returns to the mat Saturday, Feb. 11 for its final road trip of the regular season. The 'Cats visit Bules Creek, N.C., to wrestle North Carolina at 3:15 p.m. and Campbell at 5:15 p.m., wrapping up the nonconference portion of their schedule.
     
    No. 19 Northwestern 24, Northern Illinois 18
    125: No. 10 Levi Mele (NU) dec No. 20 Nick Smith (NIU), 3-0 (3-0 NU)
    133: Jameson Oster (NU) maj dec Rob Jillard (NIU), 11-2 (7-0 NU)
    141: Kevin Fanta (NIU) dec Pat Greco (NU), 3-1 (7-3 NU)
    149: Kaleb Friedley (NU) maj dec Tyler Argue (NIU), 12-3 (11-3 NU)
    157: No. 2 Jason Welch (NU) pins Tyler Loethen (NIU), 5:13 (17-3 NU)
    165: Pierce Harger (NU) maj dec Matt Mougin (NIU), 8-0 (21-3 NU)
    174: No. 12 Lee Munster (NU) dec Caleb Busson (NIU), 4-1 (24-3 NU)
    184: No. 18 Brad Dieckhaus (NIU) pins Marcus Shrewsbury (NU), 5:15 (24-9 NU)
    197: Mike Lukowski (NIU) dec John Schoen (NU), 3-1 (24-12 NU)
    Hwt: Jared Torrence (NIU) pins Ben Kuhar (NU), 6:48 (24-18 NU)

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