Twelfth-ranked Central Michigan uses seniors to upend No. 7 Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Seniors Christian Cullinan and Ben Bennett earned key major decisions as No. 12 Central Michigan handed No. 7 Missouri its first loss of the season at 17-16 on Sunday.
A pair of underclassmen also came up with critical victories in the matchup of two of the elite programs in the country as redshirt freshman Lucas Smith and sophomore Mike Ottinger each claimed overtime matches versus ranked opponents.
Cullinan, ranked No. 9 in the country at 125 pounds, opened the dual for the Chippewas (9-3) with an 11-0 major decision against Dale Boyd. Cullinan went ahead on a takedown 49 seconds into the first period and was able to score back points twice in the match with a two-point near fall in the first and a three-point near fall in the second.
After No. 8 Scotti Sentes fell to No. 7 Nate McCormick, junior Scott Mattingly used a second period reversal and takedown to earn a 4-3 decision against Eric Wilson at 141pounds. Again the Tigers (7-1-1) pulled within a point after an 8-2 loss by senior Donnie Corby to No. 16 Drake Houdashelt, but Smith and Ottinger swung the momentum back in the Chippewas' favor.
An even three periods sent Smith to overtime versus No. 20 Kyle Bradley where he was able to score a reversal with just eight seconds left in the first tie breaker to earn a 6-5 win. Ottinger kept the fireworks going for the Maroon and Gold, earning a takedown 39 seconds into sudden victory to upset No. 10 Zach Toal at 165 pounds 6-4.
The Chippewas were able to secure the match behind a major decision by No. 2 Ben Bennett against No. 9 Mike Larson 8-0. Bennett led 4-0 after two periods, but scored two back points and was awarded a penalty point while accumulating 3:38 of riding time to secure bonus points for CMU.
The bonus points proved crucial as redshirt freshman Jackson Lewis dropped a major decision to No. 12 Brent Haynes 10-0 at 197 and senior Jarod Trice fell to the No. 1 heavyweight in the country in a close-fought 3-1 decision.
Trice and Dom Bradley, who each took Olympics redshirts last season, were tied through regulation at one before Bradley earned an escape in the first tiebreaker and was awarded a caution point.