Wrestling: Northwestern outmuscles Illinois for first conference victory of season


Daily file photo by Jorge Melendez

A Northwestern wrestler wraps his arms around an opponent. The Wildcats defeated Illinois 26-13 on Saturday for their first Big Ten win of the season.

Nathan Ansell, Assistant Sports Editor

Northwestern left Champaign on Saturday with their first conference victory of the year in hand.

The Wildcats (3-4, 1-4 Big Ten) opened up the afternoon against Illinois (2-4, 0-4 Big Ten) trailing after two decisions, but a fall earned by graduate student Yahya Thomas at 149 leveled the score at 6-6.

The fourth match of the day turned into the Ryan Deakin show, as the graduate student notched a 15-0 tech fall against the Fighting Illini’s Joe Roberts at 157. Deakin amassed four minutes of riding time, needing just 20 seconds to get on the scoreboard to begin his impressive display.

Graduate student Andrew Davison later earned a fall, sandwiched between decisions from sophomore Troy Fisher and junior Lucas Davison — the latter of whom won a thrilling heavyweight bout by scoring a decisive riding time point with less than a minute to go. Senior Michael DeAugustino held on for a narrow 1-0 decision at 125 to conclude the dual. By the time DeAugustino left the mat, NU had doubled Illinois’ point total for a 26-13 victory.

Coach Matt Storniolo and the Cats will return to Welsh-Ryan to go toe-to-toe with Maryland (5-9, 0-5 Big Ten) on Sunday.

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Twitter: @NathanJAnsell

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