No. 2 ranked Mizzou Wrestling breaks program win record

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Joey Gjata, 23 Sports

Saturday, Feb. 7–

It was business as usual for the No. 2 Missouri wrestling team Friday evening, as they swept aside the Buffalo Bulls in all but one draw, extending their undefeated streak to 19-0 on the year. The victory makes this Tigers team the only 19 win squad in program history.

Undefeated captain Alan Waters once again catapulted Mizzou off to an early lead it wouldn’t look back on. The redshirt senior earned a decision a victory in the 125 pound class that now puts him at a remarkable 23-0 for the 2014-15 campaign. Waters is currently ranked second in the nation for his weight class behind Illinois’ Jesse Delgado.

After the lone draw the Tigers didn’t win due to a forfeit in the 133 pound matchup, redshirt sophomore Cole Baumgartner relieved fifth ranked Lavion Mayes and earned a sensational pin in his first career dual start, which lasted barely over two minutes. In the 149 pound dual, it only took 2:25 for Le’Roy Barnes to notch a fall victory of his own, to give Missouri a commanding lead.

Before the intermission, sophomore Joey Lavallee ousted Buffalo’s Danny Graham by an 18-4 major decision at 157 pounds to essentially wrap this one up earlier than the home side may have expected.

Out of the break, redshirt senior Mikey England tallied a 5-3 decision victory that would be the last non-bonus point draw of the one-sided affair. At 174 pounds, fifth ranked Johnny Eblen got the day off as redshirt junior Cody Johnston was given a chance he would not regret. The Missouri native methodically wore down Wally Maziarz to earn a confidence-boosting fall in 5:29.

As the heavy hitters made their way to the center mat, there was nothing more head coach Brian Smith could have asked for than a combination of falls and a major decision victory to close out a dominating evening. Willie Miklus earned a fall in less than two and a half minutes, while the nation’s top ranked grappler at 197 pounds J’den Cox put on clinic in his 17-0 technical fall. The Columbia, Mo. native extended his NCAA leading win streak to a sublime 45 duals.

In the final dual of the night, senior Devin Mellon looked back to his old self again after a couple of shaky performances in the latter end of January against Oklahoma State and Northern Iowa. The big man looked like the only man on the mat as he paved his way to a comfortable 10-1 major decision victory.

Overall, Smith and the Tigers seem to have everything in control ahead of their National Duals, MAC Championships and NCAA Championships. Having reached his 200th victory and attaining the first ever 19 win season in program history this year, Smith and his squad seem to have an extra focus in place, competing with some chip on their shoulder.

What is also important to note is the Tigers have achieved these magnificent feats while constantly being able to rest the likes of Drake Houdashelt, Mayes and Eblen, which could reap tremendous benefits come tournament time.

But before their version of March Madness takes place, the Tigers have one final MAC conference dual at Eastern Michigan this Sunday at noon.