'Cats Send Off Seniors vs. Illinois
Feb. 10, 2013
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: #8 Illinois 24, Northwestern 10
Records: Northwestern (7-8 overall, 1-6 B1G), #8 Illinois (6-6 overall, 3-5 B1G)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Feb. 17 – 1 p.m. CT – at South Dakota State (Brookings, S.D.)
EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern honored seniors Paul Jackson, Levi Mele, Marcus Shrewsbury and Jason Welch prior to Sunday’s dual and two-time All-American, Welch, was one of three ’Cats to pick up a win vs. No. 8 Illinois. Welch, sophomore Pat Greco (141) and sophomore Mike McMullan (Hwt) contributed wins but the Illini took the match, 24-10.
True freshman Dominick Malone wrestled a close bout against one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the country at 125 lbs., fifth-ranked Jesse Delgado of Illinois. Delgado defeated the No. 1-ranked wrestler, Iowa’s Matt McDonough, Friday and 19th-ranked Malone kept things tight, only surrendering one takedown, in the 4-0 decision for Delgado.
Another true freshman, Garrison White, faced No. 10 Daryl Thomas of Illinois at 133. Thomas jumped out to a 14-8 lead after two periods but White stayed on top for the entire third and only gave up a penalty point to avoid surrendering bonus points as Thomas won 15-8.
Sophomore Pat Greco put the ’Cats on the board at 141 with an exciting overtime match against Steven Rodrigues. Tied 6-6 after regulation, Greco scored the winning takedown 20 seconds into sudden victory to take the 8-6 decision and put the team score at 6-3 in favor of the Illini.
Illinois extended its lead with a major decision at 149 but Welch put the ’Cats within three points at 10-7 with his major decision at 157. The No. 2 ranked wrestler in the country scored eight takedowns, including five in the third period, and had a reversal and 4:28 of riding time in his 19-7 major decision over Matt Nora. Welch was competing in his final bout at Welsh-Ryan Arena and captured his 106th career victory.
Illinois managed to extend its lead in the team standings, winning the next four bouts, two of which were by three points or less. Sophomore Pierce Harger, ranked No. 15 at 165 lbs., gave up just an escape and riding time in No. 7 Conrad Polz’s 2-0 decision and sophomore Alex Polizzi dropped a close 5-2 decision to the defending Big Ten champion at 197 lbs., No. 14 Mario Gonzalez.
Eight-ranked sophomore Mike McMullan captured the final victory of the evening for NU with his 6-2 decision over Chris Lopez at heavyweight. McMullan had two first-period takedowns, an escape and 3:13 of riding time in the win.
Northwestern hits the road for its final two duals of the season, wrestling at nonconference foe South Dakota State next Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. CT.
Northwestern (7-8 overall, 1-6 B1G), #8 Illinois (6-6 overall, 3-5 B1G)
Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 • Welsh-Ryan Arena
125: #3 Jesse Delgado (ILL) dec #19 Dominick Malone (NU), 4-0 (3-0 ILL)
133: #10 Daryl Thomas (ILL) dec Garrison White (NU), 15-8 (6-0 ILL)
141: Pat Greco (NU) dec Steven Rodrigues (ILL), 8-6, SV (6-3 ILL)
149: Caleb Ervin (ILL) maj dec Dylan Marriott (NU), 13-2 (10-3 ILL)
157: #2 Jason Welch (NU) maj dec Matt Nora (ILL), 19-7 (10-7 ILL)
165: #7 Conrad Polz (ILL) dec #15 Pierce Harger (NU), 2-0 (13-7 ILL)
174: #8 Jordan Blanton (ILL) maj dec #9 Lee Munster (NU), 13-3 (17-7 ILL)
184: #16 Tony Dallago (ILL) maj dec Jacob Berkowitz (NU), 11-0 (21-7 ILL)
197: #14 Mario Gonzalez (ILL) dec Alex Polizzi (NU), 5-2 (24-7 ILL)
Hwt: #8 Mike McMullan (NU) dec Chris Lopez (ILL), 6-2 (24-10 ILL)
Final: #8 Illinois 24, Northwestern 10
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