Feb. 7, 2010

Courtesy of Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - No. 21 Illinois and No. 13 Wisconsin split the 10 bouts, but the Fighting Illini scored one more bonus point to upset the Badgers by a 19-18 score in front of 518 fans at Huff Hall Sunday. The win continues Illinois' recent dominance of the Badgers, improving the Illini's record to 11-0-1 in their last 12 duals against Wisconsin. Clint Arlis started the day with a technical fall at 157 and No. 14 Ryan Prater thrilled the crowd with a 15-1 major decision to provide the deciding team points. Illinois improves to 8-6 overall, 3-3 in the Big Ten.

"We wrestled hard, did some good things and made some adjustments from Friday night," Illinois coach Jim Heffernan said. "We needed bonus points at a few weights and it was important to get off to a good start, and we did both of those things."

Arlis really opened up against Jesse Hintz as the dual started at 157, with Arlis scoring an early takedown and adding two near-fall points before riding Hintz out for the first period. Arlis started down in the second and escaped quickly before getting two takedowns and allowing two escapes in the period to go up 9-2 after five minutes. Hintz started down in the third and Arlis went to work, turning him three times for six near-fall points before cutting Hintz loose. Arlis was able to finish the takedown with 15 seconds left and added the riding-time point for the 18-3 technical fall at 7:00 to put the Illini up 5-0.

Conrad Polz looked to fend off No. 1 Andrew Howe at 165 and did as much through two periods, with Howe taking a 7-2 lead into the third period. But Howe switched into quick takedown mode, scoring three takedowns and adding the riding-time point for a 14-6 major decision, cutting Illinois' lead to 5-4.

No. 14 Jordan Blanton gave up a quick takedown to Brendan Ard off a scramble, but he escaped and got a takedown with less than a minute left in the first period to take a 3-2 lead. Blanton started down in the second period and escaped before getting two takedowns in the period for an 8-3 lead. Ard started down in the third and Blanton rode him for 37 seconds before the Badger escaped, but Blanton took him down and rode him out for the 14-4 major decision, pushing the Illini lead to 9-4.

Second-ranked John Dergo faced No. 16 Travis Rutt at 184 and got a takedown with 24 seconds left in the first period and rode out Rutt for the 2-0 lead. Rutt started down in the second and escaped quickly, but Dergo rebounded with a takedown at the 1:15 mark. Rutt escaped 30 seconds later but Dergo notched a takedown with 28 seconds remaining in the period and rode him out to go up 6-2. Dergo started down in the third and escaped, and the two wrestled at neutral for the rest of the period before Dergo tacked on his riding-time point for the 8-2 win and a 12-4 team lead.

At 197, No. 14 Patrick Bond and No. 8 Trevor Brandvold battled through a scoreless first period before Brandvold started down in the second and escaped quickly. Bond started down in the third and escaped quickly to tie the score 1-1 but neither man was able to land a shot as the bout went to sudden-victory time. Nearly halfway through the extra period, Bond got in on a double-leg and looked to have control of both ankles as both wrestlers flew toward the edge of the mat, but they were ruled out of bounds and no takedown was awarded. They continued scoreless through the sudden-victory time and went to the tie-breaks where Brandvold started down first and got out in 10 seconds. Bond went down in the second tie-break period and Brandvold rode him out to win 2-1 and bring the Badgers within 12-7.

Eric Bugenhagen and Pat Walker also didn't score in the first period, then Bugenhagen started down in the second and escaped quickly. Walker started down in the third and escaped, but it took him 1:10 to do so, giving Bugenhagen the riding-time advantage. Walker couldn't put together any late offense and the Badger won by a 2-1 margin, cutting Illinois' lead to 12-10.

In one of the day's swing matches, John Deneen recorded a takedown with 59 seconds left in the first period against Drew Hammen at 125 and rode out Hammen. Hammen started down in the second and fended off Deneen's attempts to turn him, but the Illini junior was able to ride Hammen for the entire two minutes. The pair started neutral in the third and Hammen got a takedown to tie the score 2-2, but he gave up a point on an illegal hold with six seconds left in the bout, and Deneen tacked on his riding-time point for a 4-2 win, pushing the Illini ahead 15-10.

But No. 7 Tyler Graff controlled Daryl Thomas from the start at 133, recording five takedowns in the first period and adding two near-fall points near the end of the period for a 12-4 lead after three minutes. Graff started down in the second and escaped before adding three more takedowns and a three-point near-fall with 36 seconds left to finish the 22-6 technical fall in 4:27, tying the match 15-15.

With the Illini needing bonus points from him at 141, No. 14 Ryan Prater scored a takedown with 1:22 left in the first period against Cole Schmitt and rode him out but wasn't able to turn him. Schmitt started down in the second and Prater rode him hard, turning him three times for a seven-point period and a 9-0 lead. Prater chose top position in the third and added another three-point near-fall before Schmitt was able to escape, making the score 12-1. With Prater needing four points to get the technical fall, he got a takedown with 14 seconds left but wasn't able to turn Schmitt again, riding him out and adding the riding-time point for a 15-1 major decision and a 19-15 team lead.

In the day's final bout, No. 19 Eric Terrazas gave up an early takedown to No. 5 Kyle Ruschell and escaped 40 seconds later. Ruschell scored another takedown with 54 seconds left in the period but Terrazas escaped quickly and the Badger took a 4-2 lead after the first period. Ruschell started down in the second and got out quickly before extending his lead to 7-2 with another takedown. He rode out Terrazas to lock up the riding-time point after two periods. Terrazas started down in the third and escaped in 21 seconds to cut Ruschell's lead to 7-3. The Badger looked to have both legs on the edge of the mat but Terrazas spun out and shot in for a takedown of his own to get within 7-5, bringing the crowd to its feet. Ruschell escaped and fended off Terrazas' late offense before adding his riding-time point for the 9-5 win. But by losing only by decision, Terrazas sealed the team win by a 19-18 margin.

The Fighting Illini return to action on Friday, Feb. 12, when they host No. 3 Ohio State at 7 p.m. The Buckeyes are 16-1 and 5-0 in the Big Ten after dispatching Northwestern by a 37-6 score on Sunday.

#21 Illinois 19, #13 Wisconsin 18
157: Clint Arlis (ILL) tech. fall Jesse Hintz (WIS), 18-3 (7:00) (5-0)
165: #1 Andrew Howe (WIS) maj. dec Conrad Polz (ILL), 14-6 (5-4)
174: #14 Jordan Blanton (ILL) maj. dec. Brendan Ard (WIS), 14-4 (9-4)
184: #2 John Dergo (ILL) dec. #16 Travis Rutt (WIS), 8-2 (12-4)
197: #8 Trevor Brandvold (WIS) dec. #14 Patrick Bond (ILL), 2-1 TB1 (12-7)
HWT: Eric Bugenhagen (WIS) dec. Pat Walker (ILL), 2-1 (12-10)
125: John Deneen (ILL) dec. Drew Hammen (WIS), 4-2 (15-10)
133: #7 Tyler Graff (WIS) tech. fall Daryl Thomas (ILL), 22-6 (4:27) (15-15)
141: #14 Ryan Prater (ILL) maj. dec. Cole Schmitt (WIS) 15-1 (19-15)
149: #5 Kyle Ruschell (WIS) dec. #19 Eric Terrazas (ILL), 9-5 (19-18)