Thomas Maurer, 23 Sports

Saturday, December 12-

The Missouri Tigers wrestling team impressed the country Saturday night as it took down the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes 26-17.

The Tigers started off the night a little shaky as they lost their first two matches and dug themselves into a 10-0 hole. The Buckeyes won the first match with a pin and the second with a 10-1 major decision. It seemed as if they had made an early stamp on the night and were going to run away with the victory.

The Tigers did not let the tough start hold them down as they went on to win six of the last eight matches. Momentum swung in the second match as redshirt junior Zach Synon pinned No. 5 Johnni DiJulius at 133 pounds in the third period.

Redshirt junior Matt Manley, at 141 pounds, followed the upset win with a last second takedown of his own over Ohio State’s Micah Jordan. This cut the Buckeyes lead to only one with six remaining matches.

149-pounder Lavion Mayes followed Manley as he defeated Cody Burcher by a 12-3 major decision and shot the Tigers into a 13-10 lead heading into halftime.

The Buckeyes were bent, but not broken as they came out of intermission with high energy, winning the first two matches with a 10-2 major decision and 6-4 decision.

Redshirt senior Blaise Butler stunted the Buckeye comeback with a 13-3 major decision at 174 pounds. 184-pounder redshirt sophomore Willie Miklus won with a 15-0 tech fall to give the Tigers a 22-17 lead heading into the main event.

Finally, junior J’den Cox walked onto the mat to seal up the win. Cox dominated Buckeye Mark Martin, only allowing two escape points throughout the match. Cox won by major decision, 13-2 and added four more points to their total.

It was the end to a fantastic night for Mizzou fans as the Tigers hosted their fifth largest crowd in school history for a wrestling event and knocked off a top side in Ohio State in the process.

Not much time to rest for the team, as the Tigers face off against No. 21 Ohio on Sunday, at the Hearnes Center at 1 p.m.

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