State Dominance; CMU wins 11 straight over MSU in wrestling
Ben Bennett filled in admirably in sophomore Joe Roth’s position as the sparkplug for the Central Michigan wrestling team against Michigan State.
Bennett gave the Chippewas a 4-0 lead after earning a major decision over MSU senior Ian Hinton.
The spark proved to be enough as CMU rolled over Michigan State 21-12 Thursday night at McGuirk Arena. It was the Chippewas eleventh-straight victory over the Spartans.
“Every match is real important to us,” head coach Tom Borrelli said. “But to me, this dual meet was more important, because it was our next match, and we are trying to build some momentum going into the MAC tournament.”
Dual meets typically start at 125-pound, but MSU’s coach forced a draw. The meet started at 184-pound.
“We haven’t done that all year,” Borrelli said. “Normally Ben, Chad (Friend) and Peter (Sturgeon) watch a bunch of matches before they have to wrestle. I wouldn’t say it threw us off; it was just different.”
After MSU cut the lead to 4-3, CMU rallied off four-straight victories to take the 18-3 lead.
CMU senior Sturgeon defeated sophomore Mike McClure 5-4 in his last match of his career at McGuirk Arena.
“I haven’t been here long, but it was nice they were all cheering for me that loud,” Sturgeon said.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Keselring followed Joe Roth’s decision with a 13-4 major decision, and CMU sophomore Scott Mattingly scored four takedowns en route to a 10-2 major decision of his own.
“I thought he wrestled well in spots,” Borrelli said of Mattingly. “We expected him to score bonus points for us, and he figured out how to do that. But I think he can certainly concentrate more through a seven-minute match.”
The Spartans responded with two-straight decisions to pull within nine.
But freshman Mike Ottinger halted any chance of a comeback attempt. His 8-7 decision sealed the win for CMU.
MSU’s last victory over the Chippewas was Nov. 28, 2001. CMU leads the all-time series 14-13.
CMU travels to Purdue Sunday to face the Boilmakers at 2 p.m.