Despite winning just half of the matches on the night, the Hoosiers found a way to win thanks to bonus-point victories and tiebreaker criteria.
No. 29 IU traveled to Southern Illinois–Edwardsville to compete in its second double dual meet of the season. After a pair of close matches, the wrestlers are bringing home two more wins to improve their dual meet record to 4-1 on the season.
In the first match, against No. 27 North Dakota State, IU found itself in an early 6-0 hole but went on to win five of the last eight matches to bring the score to 17-17.
No. 6 Nate Jackson, 184 pounds, won his match by major decision to give the team four points instead of three. Without that major decision win, the Hoosiers would have lost a close match, 17-16.
Instead, the major decision bonus point forced the match to be decided by tiebreaker criteria.
The tiebreaker criteria gave the Hoosiers an 18-17 win after having eight more total points than North Dakota.
“We’ve been emphasizing scoring points,” IU Coach Duane Goldman said. “We’ve been talking about putting points on the board and staying aggressive. It made the difference in the match.”
After the victory to open the night, the Hoosiers went on to face the hosts, SIUE. Jackson did his part once again by pinning Jake Godinez to give IU a 15-3 lead through four matches.
Despite the early advantage, SIUE fought back and had a 16-15 lead with two matches left.
Cole Weaver, 141 pounds, regained the Hoosiers’ lead with a final minute reversal to win by decision, 7-4.
One match was left, and IU led by two. The final match was a winner-take-all situation.
Chris Perez, 149 pounds, went on to win 4-0 thanks to a takedown, escape point and riding time point. His victory notched the team win for IU by a score of 21-16 but also provided Perez with his first victory of the season.
“We’re happy to get him in there,” Goldman said. “He hasn’t been on the mat in a long time with the injuries he has sustained. He had a tough loss against North Dakota State, and to come back and win the dual against Southern Illinois was really good for him.”
After a successful road trip, the Hoosiers will now prepare for their first home match of the season. IU will open its Big Ten season against Wisconsin at 7:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in the University Gym.
“The Big Ten matches are always exciting, and Wisconsin is a great team,” Goldman said. “Each individual guy in our lineup has shown glimpses of really doing some great things. We just haven’t had the consistency. Hopefully in the Wisconsin match we can put it all together and compete well.”