The loss drops NIU’s record to 6-5 overall and 0-2 in the MAC, while Ohio improved to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
“Instead of setting the tone, we waited around,” said Huskie head coach Ryan Ludwig. “We paid for it. I expect more intensity and discipline in our wrestling.”
The Bobcats drew first blood by taking each of the first two matches, as Derek Elmore lost to Gabe Ramos at 125, 3-0, and Rob Jillard was defeated, 7-2, by Drew Hammer in the 133-pound match. The Huskies, though, would cut Ohio’s lead in half when Kevin Fanta picked up his seventh win of the season with a commanding 8-2 win against Darrin Boing at 141.
Yet, NIU was unable to gain any momentum from Fanta’s win, dropping the next five matches by minor decision to give Ohio a 21-3 lead with two matches to go. During that stretch, the Huskies only managed a combined three match points, while each of the five matches were determined by five points or less.
Mike Lukowski helped the Huskies draw slightly closer with a win at 197, as he topped Beau Wenger, 6-2, to get NIU within 21-6. The Bobcats would cap off the night when Jared Torrence was pinned by nationally-ranked Jeremy Johnson in the heavyweight bout.
The Huskies continue their month-long road trip next Friday, Jan. 20, when they trek to Mt. Pleasant, Mich., to battle the defending MAC champion Central Michigan Chippewas. The dual gets underway at 6:30 p.m. inside McGuirk Arena.
Ohio 27, Northern Illinois 6
125: Gabe Ramos (Ohio) dec. Derek Elmore (NIU), 3-0
133: Drew Hammer (Ohio) dec. Rob Jillard (NIU), 7-2
141: Kevin Fanta (NIU) dec. Darrin Boing (Ohio), 8-2
149: Andrew Romanchik (Ohio) dec. Shawn Fayette (NIU), 5-0
157: Harrison Hightower (Ohio) dec. Sam Bennett (NIU), 5-1
165: Miles Chapman (Ohio) dec. Dan Burk (NIU), 5-1
174: Nick Purdue (Ohio) dec. Caleb Busson (NIU), 6-1
184: Ryan Garringer (Ohio) dec. Shane Rosenberry (NIU), 5-0
197: Mike Lukowski (NIU) dec. Beau Wenger (Ohio), 6-2
285: Jeremy Johnson (Ohio) pins Jared Torrence (NIU),