No. 6 Missouri topples No. 5 Ohio State to advance to National Duals semifinals
MINNEAPOLIS -- No. 6 Missouri won eight of 10 matches against No. 5 Ohio State to advance to the semifinal round of the 2013 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals on Friday at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena. Junior Alan Waters only needed 3 minutes, 8 seconds to give the Tigers a lead that they would not surrender, and after their 28-6 victory, Mizzou will now prepare for a rematch against their former Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State.
Waters opened with a pin against No. 12 Nikko Triggas and, after tough losses against No. 1 Logan Stieber and No. 2 Hunter Stieber at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively, the Tigers wouldn't lose again. The Stieber brothers defeated No. 4 Nathan McCormick and Nicholas Hucke to tie the dual at six after three weights, but the Tigers followed with 22 points.
In a dual where 17 of 20 grapplers were ranked, the Tigers won four bouts where they were ranked lower than Ohio State wrestlers. At 149 pounds, No. 14 Drake Houdashelt held strong on top and was able to muster 2:02 of riding time against 11-ranked Cam Tessari en route to a 4-2 decision. Junior Kyle Bradley followed with a win 17 seconds into the first sudden-victory period against No. 18 Josh Demas by the score of 4-2, as well. Brent Haynes, ranked No. 17, topped No. 12 Andrew Campollatano by decision 5-0.
The biggest upset of the night came at 174 pounds, where Missouri's Todd Porter once again took down a higher-ranked opponent in No. 6 Nick Heflin. Heflin scored first at 1:45 in the first period and only allowed an escape point to Porter through five minutes of wrestling. The 13th-ranked Porter never quit attacking though, and after an escape in the third, Porter secured a takedown with 33 seconds remaining. Porter's 4-3 victory against Heflin was his third win versus a higher-ranked opponent this season, with one of those coming against his next opponent in Chris Perry of Oklahoma State. Porter defeated the then-No. 1 Perry on Feb. 1 by major decision 9-1.
After sitting out of last weekend's regional bouts, Missouri senior Mike Larson defeated No. 20 C.J. Magrum by a 5-0 final thanks to a late takedown as time expired in the third. At heavyweight, the nation's top-ranked Dom Bradley added a 12-4 major decision against Ohio State's Kosta Karageorge after tacking on five takedowns and a reversal. The Tigers improved to 15-2 in duals this season.
"We wrestled well. We wrestled really well," Missouri head coach Brian Smith said. "We stuck with our game plans. We prepared all week about what we have to do in the top position and bottom positions and we stuck with it. And really, we won a lot of tight matches. The guys just kept with their game plans and what they do best. So now we will enjoy it for a few minutes and then we will get ready for Oklahoma State [on Saturday]."
Saturday afternoon will feature a rematch of the Tigers and Cowboys, who defeated Illinois 33-3 on the adjacent mat Friday to also advance to this year's semifinals. OSU defeated Mizzou 21-13 earlier this season in Columbia, Mo. The dual will feature many exciting matchups including McCormick vs. No. 6 Jon Morrison, Bradley vs. No. 3 Alan Gelogaev, and Porter in a rematch against Perry.