Jan. 19, 2009

Courtesy of Missouri

Columbia, Mo. – Wrapping up an afternoon of wrestling in the Hearnes Center, the 12th-ranked Missouri wrestling team improved to 14-2 on the campaign after besting Chattanooga, 32-7.  Five Tigers earned wins for Missouri and two were credited with victories by forfeit in the second of two home duals held in the Hearnes Center.  Earlier in the day, Missouri held on for a 33-12 win over instate opponent Missouri Valley.  Missouri’s 14-2 record marks the most Tiger wins for a squad since the 2004-05 campaign when Missouri finished at 15-6.


Seven members of Missouri’s 10-man lineup finished the day at 2-0.  True freshman Taylor Crane (Columbia, Mo.) got things started for the Tigers with his 6-1 win by decision over Chattanooga’s Josh Statum at 133 pounds.  Between his two duals, Crane outscored his opponents, 30-7, and improved to 20-10 on the year.  


“I was pleased with how well Taylor wrestled today,” Missouri Head Coach Brian Smith said. “He really fought hard and had two intense matches.  He’s the only true freshman wrestling for me this season and he’s doing a nice job.”


A tough loss at 141 pounds put Missouri down by four points entering the 149 pound match.  Senior Andrew Sherry (Sewickley, Pa.), who lost his first dual of the day, rebounded with a 16-5 win by major decision over Mocs’ grappler Kelly Felix.  Sherry dominated his opponent and held a 9-1 lead at the close of the first period.  Credited with his 10th win of the season, and two wins shy of 50 on his career, Sherry accumulated 3:38 of riding time and added five points in his final two minutes of competition.  


As in the first Missouri dual of the day, the Tigers won an additional six straight matches.  Wrestling at 157 pounds, senior Michael Chandler (High Ridge, Mo.) recorded his 90th career victory by way of 10-1 major decision over Brandon Wright.  Wright was hit early in the first period with stalling and Chandler shot and took down the Moc with 20 seconds remaining in the first.  Chandler chose down to start the second and escaped in only 12 seconds, returning Wright to the mat juts a few short seconds later.  By the close of the bout, Chandler wracked up 1:21 of riding time for the win.


All-American Nicholas Marable (Collierville, Tenn.) followed Chandler’s win with a 7-3 decision at 165 pounds.  Marable, a native of Tennessee, battled with 19th-ranked Seth Garvin and held on for the win.  Scoreless through the first period, it was Marable who earned the first points of the match with a reversal in the second after choosing down.  Marable refused to give up the takedown but landed Garvin on the mat two times in the third period.


Missouri received two wins by forfeit, the first at 174 pounds, the latter at 197.  Senior Raymond Jordan (New Bern, N.C.), now with 112 career wins, stands alone at seventh in the Missouri career wins record book and needs eight more victories to take the No. 5 spot from former Tiger grappler Kenny Burleson (157 pounds).  


Redshirt freshmen Dorian Henderson (Columbus, Ga.) and Dominique Bradley (Blue Springs, Mo.) scored Missouri’s last two wins of the night.  Henderson, wrestling at 184 pounds, held off Jason McCroskey, 7-5, while Bradley came through with a 6-3 win over heavyweight Cody Sigler.


The Tigers will use the week ahead to practice and prepare for their Sunday, Jan. 25 dual with Cornell in Ityaca, N.Y.  Cornell is ranked as high as second in the nation and boasts eight ranked wrestlers in their lineup.  


Missouri’s next home dual is slated for Saturday, Jan. 31, when the Tigers open the Big 12 portion of their schedule against Nebraska at 7:30 p.m. (CT) in the Hearnes Center.