Hardy, Brock 2Hardy, Brock 2

Bonus Points Carry Huskers to Win Over Illinois

Lincoln, Neb. - The No. 6 Nebraska wrestling team used four bonus-point victories and an overtime decision to defeat the Illinois Fighting Illini 28-9 in front of 3,347 fans on Sunday afternoon. 

With the win, NU secured its fifth-straight dual victory and improved to 10-1 overall (5-1 Big Ten). Illinois fell to 3-7 on the season and 0-4 in Big Ten competition. 

The dual against the Fighting Illini opened with No. 15 Caleb Smith against Justin Cardani at 125. Smith earned a takedown and was awarded a penalty point in the first round. After starting the Period 2 on top, Smith was able to ride out to the end of the period and then recorded another takedown in the third period, to earn the 9-2 victory.

At 133, No. 17 Jacob Van Dee wrestled No. 33 Tony Madrigal. Van Dee scored a quick takedown in the first period and recorded over two minutes of riding time before Madrigal escaped. Van Dee led 3-1 to start the second period, but Madrigal was able to ride out, and the two started Period 3 neutral. Madrigal then scored the late takedown and four nearfall points to secure the 8-3 win. 

With the match tied at 3-3, No. 7 Brock Hardy faced No. 27 Danny Pucino at 141 in the dual’s second-straight ranked bout. Hardy got two quick takedowns to lead 6-2 after the first period. After two more takedowns in Period 2, Hardy secured his fourth pin on the season and put the Huskers up 9-3 overall.

At 149, Blake Cushing met Jake Harrier, and the duo wrestled a scoreless first period. An escape for Cushing marked the only point for Period 2, but Harrier quickly matched with an escape of his own in the final period to even the score and force overtime. In sudden victory, Harrier scored a takedown and secured the 4-1 victory. 

No. 9 Peyton Robb faced off against Joe Roberts at 157. Robb led 7-0 after the first period, with a takedown and four nearfall points. In Period 2, Robb tacked on another two points with a reversal and earned the riding time point in Period 3 to secure the 10-1 major decision. 

After a brief intermission and with the Huskers up 13-6, No. 17 Antrell Taylor wrestled No. 30 Chris Moore at 165. Taylor scored first with a quick escape in Period 2. Moore answered with an escape of his own in the third to tie the score at 1-1 at the end of regulation. In sudden victory, Taylor managed a takedown to win 4-1. 

At 174, No. 33 Bubba Wilson took on No. 9 Edmond Ruth, and the two were tied 0-0 after the first three minutes. An escape for Ruth put him ahead 1-0 going into the third, and a takedown late in Period 3 gave Ruth the 4-0 decision. 

With a 15-9 match lead for the Huskers, No. 3 Lenny Pinto wrestled No. 28 Dylan Connell at 184. A takedown for Connell and a reversal for Pinto put the score at 3-2 after the first period. Pinto added another reversal and a takedown in Period 2 and entered the third with a 7-4 lead. Two more takedowns in the final period gave Pinto the 18-6 major decision. 

No. 14 Silas Allred met Chase Waggoner at 197. Allred came out with a takedown in Period 1. Waggoner answered with a takedown of his own but was quickly turned into a reversal by Allred. Allred then dominated the second period and earned his sixth pin of the season. 

In the final match of the day, heavyweights Nash Hutmacher and Peter Marinopoulos took the mat. An action-filled Period 1 ended with Hutmacher in the lead at 5-4. Then after a pair of escapes, a takedown and the riding time point, Hutmacher secured the 12-9 decision. 

Up next, the Huskers will host Michigan on Friday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. (CT). Action will be aired on the Big Ten Network. 

No. 6 Nebraska 28, Illinois 9 
125 - No. 15 Caleb Smith dec. Justin Cardani 9-2 (ILL) (NEB 3, ILL 0)
133 - No. 33 Tony Madrigal (ILL) dec. No. 17 Jacob Van Dee 8-3 (ILL) (NEB 3, ILL 3)
141 - No. 7 Brock Hardy pinned No. 27 Danny Pucino (ILL) (4:40) (NEB 9, ILL 3)
149 - Jake Harrier (ILL) dec. Blake Cushing 4-1 SV-1 (NEB 9, ILL 6)
157 - No. 9 Peyton Robb major dec. Joe Roberts (ILL) 10-1 (NEB 13, ILL 6)
165 - No. 17 Antrell Taylor dec. No. 30 Chris Moore (ILL) 4-1 SV-1 (NEB 16, ILL 6)*
174 - No. 9 Edmond Ruth (ILL) dec. No. 33 Bubba Wilson 4-0 (NEB 15, ILL 9)
184 - No. 3 Lenny Pinto major dec. No. 28 Dylan Connell (ILL) 18-6 (NEB 19, ILL 9)
197 - No. 14 Silas Allred pinned Chase Waggoner (ILL) (4:10) (NEB 25, ILL 9)
HWT - Nash Hutmacher dec. Peter Maranopoulos (ILL) 12-9 (NEB 28, ILL 9)