Missouri off to National Duals finals after beating Maryland, Purdue in regional
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- No. 6 Missouri took home two victories in the NWCA National Duals regional on Sunday and booked a trip to the University of Minnesota this weekend to face off against many of the top programs in the nation. The Tigers knocked off No. 16 Purdue 27-15 in the second dual after taking care of Maryland 27-13. Alan Waters, Drake Houdashelt and top-ranked Dom Bradley all had big days for the Black and Gold in the final matches this season in the Hearnes Center this year.
The Tigers won the first six matches against Maryland. Waters, Houdashelt and Kyle Bradley all added major decisions for the Tigers against the Terps, and No. 5 Nathan McCormick got his third consecutive win against a ranked opponent in No. 12 Geoffry Alexander. The Terps took three consecutive bouts from 174 pounds to 197. No. 5 Josh Asper avoided an upset against Mizzou senior Todd Porter with a successful takedown late in the third period. Jimmy Sheptock won by major decision against Johnny Eblen and Christian Boley was able to pin Brent Haynes at 2:59. Haynes had Boley nearly on his back but left his back exposed and the 14th-ranked grappler from Maryland was able to cash in on a defensive fall as time expired in the first period.
On the adjacent mat, Purdue and Wyoming came down to the heavyweights, where Alex White of Purdue tallied a takedown with two seconds remaining to win 4-1 to secure the victory for the Boilermakers 20-16. A sudden-victory win by Wyoming's No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez against No. 18 Braden Atwood kept the Cowboys' hopes alive, but Purdue was able to seal its 15th win of the year.
In the finals, Waters set the tone once again with a major decision against No. 16 Camden Eppert, 15-3. Waters already had defeated Eppert this season in November, also by major decision. A forfeit at 133 pounds gave the Tigers a 10-0 lead, and then a technical fall by the sophomore Houdashelt at 5:26 put Mizzou in the driver's seat for the remainder of the dual. Houdashelt, who claimed his team-leading fourth win by technical fall this season, was able to tally six takedowns, two three-point near falls, and one two-point near fall in the match against Purdue's Frankie Porras.
Bradley finished off a victorious day for the Tigers with a couple of big takedowns against White in a 21-7 drubbing at heavyweight. Bradley, 30-0 on the season, finished off his home career as a Missouri Tiger with an undefeated record at home in his four years of attached wrestling. In fact, the last time Mizzou's big man lost in Columbia was in 2004 as a freshman in high school. Bradley now is just four wins shy of the 100-win club as a Tiger grappler