WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After finishing 2011-12 with its first Big 12 championship, Missouri opened the year by not only shutting out Old Dominion, but defeating it 35-(-1), the first time in the program’s 89-year history it held a team to negative points. It followed the season-opening rout with a 23-9 victory against host Purdue on Saturday.
Junior Alan Waters set the tone in the 125-pound class against the new MAC foe, winning by major decision against Rob Deutsch 10-2. At 141 pounds, No. 14 Nicholas Hucke matched against No. 11 Justin LaValle, who had defeated Hucke in last year’s NCAA tournament. Hucke had a huge third period against LaValle, handing him a reversal and a 3-point near fall along with an escape to take the match 8-4.
Sophomore Drake Houdashelt added another four team points at 149 pounds, winning his match in decisive fashion after finishing with 5:22 of riding time. Next up was Junior Kyle Bradley, who took a 3-1 lead into the third period and held on against Old Dominion’s No. 11 John Nicholson. Nicholson rejected Bradley’s handshake following the 4-1 decision, which led to a misconduct penalty. By rule, a misconduct penalty in wrestling is also a forfeit of one team point.
Tyler Prazma, Mike Larson, Todd Porter, Brent Haynes, and Dom Bradley each added three points of their own, and Mizzou was well on its way to a quick 1-0 team start. It marked the third time since Jan. 29, 2012 that the Tigers won all 10 matchups in a dual meet.
The Tigers didn’t slow down for their afternoon meeting with Purdue. Waters again set the tone with an 11-2 major decision against No. 21 Camden Eppert. Waters had a great takedown with four seconds remaining and gave momentum to Nathan McCormick, who followed at 133 pounds with a 10-5 decision against freshman Danny Sabatello. At 141, Hucke came out on top once again. In another highly contested battle, Mizzou’s 141-pound grappler took down his counterpart Brandon Nelson with one second left in the first, which proved to be a huge two points in a match that ended as an 8-5 decision.
After three bouts, the Tigers had a comfortable 10-0 lead on the scoreboard but two overtime losses and a 7-3 win by decision for Pat Robinson against Mizzou’s Prazma helped Purdue get within a point at 10-9.
Senior Todd Porter responded to Mizzou’s three-match losing streak with a dominating 11-5 win, and the Tigers never looked back.
After Mike Larson followed at 184 pounds with a 3-1 decision, Haynes outperformed Purdue’s 197-pounder Braden Atwood to put the dual away. Atwood is ranked 16th in the nation, and the No. 6-Haynes accumulated two takedowns, a reversal, an escape and an extra tally for riding time to win 8-2.
Senior heavyweight Dom Bradley added his second win of the day against Purdue’s Alex White, this time by major decision 11-3. Bradley, who hadn’t wrestled for Mizzou since 2010-11 due to an Olympic redshirt last year, controlled every minute of this grapple, with White’s three points coming off of three escapes.