NIU wrestling: Kent State hands Huskies big loss

By Frank Gogola

What happened

Wrestling (9-11, 1-5 MAC) couldn’t hold its own against the Kent State Golden Flashes (8-12, 4-4 MAC) as it lost 27-6 Friday at the M.A.C. Center in Kent, Ohio.

How it happened

The Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead as senior Derek Elmore won the 125-pound match by a 5-3 decision; however, they dropped the ensuing seven matches before redshirt sophomore Shawn Scott won by a 6-0 decision at 197 pounds. That was the Huskies’ only other win of the evening in 10 matches.

Four Kent State wrestlers who were ranked in the latest MAC Coaches Rankings — released Feb. 6 — beat their NIU counterparts at 133, 157, 174 and 285 pounds. The Huskies’ eight losses came by a combined 51 points, an average loss of 6.4 points per match.

Northern Star wrestlers of the dual

Kent State junior Ian Miller amassed a dual-high 15 points in his 15-4 win over NIU junior Andrew Morse. Miller, ranked No. 1 in the MAC and No. 4 in the NCAA at 157 pounds, jumped out to a 7-1 lead after the first period and never looked back.

Even though NIU had been mathematically eliminated from winning the dual before Scott’s match began, he made sure to make his impact felt and up his stock for the postseason. Scott jumped out to a 2-0 lead, led 3-0 after the second period and won 6-0 against Kent State’s Stephen Suglio.

The quotes

“I would say the intensity in tough situations, we had that against Eastern [Michigan], and we got beat on that tonight against Kent,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig. “… That’s something we need to get back to the drawing board on and straighten out before next week.”

Ludwig said “being physical, being tough, offensive and wrestling to score, not just hang around” would be the focus in practice this week. “I think we need to gather ourselves and put forth the effort that we know we can put forth this coming Friday.”

Up next

The Huskies close the regular season with a pair of home duals. They host the Buffalo Bulls 7 p.m. Friday at the Convocation Center for Senior Night. They host the Old Dominion Monarchs 2 p.m. Sunday in DeKalb. NIU is 3-2 at home this season.