Cougars come up short against MU matmen

News-DemocratJanuary 13, 2014 

— Dakota Leach and Patrick Myersnearlyset the tone for the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville wrestling team early in the team's 40-0 defeat against seventh-ranked Missouri.

The Cougars fell to 3-9. Missouri is 3-0.

Leach and Myers both lost by a single points at 125 pounds and 133 pounds, respectively.

Missouri's Barlow McGhee recorded a first-period takedown of Leach and won 3-2. Matt Manley, of Missouri, won by the same score against Myers, this time due to a point for riding time.

"It was tough with those two," said SIUE coach Jeremy Spates. "They were both losing at the end. They took a few shots, but if you are losing you have to go after it and find a way to score."

Three more matches were decided by two points or less. Missouri's Mike England defeated Jake Residori 6-4. John Eblen topped SIUE's Deshoun White 4-2. And David Devine dropped a 3-2 decision to Missouri's David Mellon.

Missouri captured bonus points in four matches, including three falls. J'Den Cox turned in the top performance for the Tigers with a 2 minute, 33 second pin over Chris Johnson.

Spates said he was pleased with several of his wrestlers, and this opportunity to face a nationally-ranked team at home will pay dividends as the Southern Conference home season begins next Sunday with a 2 p.m. match against Chattanooga.

"Wrestling the best teams helps you see where you are at as a team," said Spates.

It also was the first coaching meeting as head coaches between Missouri coach Brian Smith, in his 16th season with the Tigers, and Spates, his former all-American and now SIUE coach.

"Coach Smith was my coach and one of my mentors so I talk to him all the time," said Spates.

While this meeting went Smith's way, Spates said he hopes to make this an annual event.

"I'm trying to take a lot of we did in college and bring it here," said Spates. "Hopefully this will turn into a rivalry here soon since we're two hours apart."

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