Dresden Simon, Ben Cushman help lead Central Michigan to victory over SIUE

Central Michigan wrestler Matt Stencel wrestles against Southern Illinois Edwardsville Jan. 19 at McGuirk Arena.

Coming off a loss to Missouri, the Central Michigan wrestling team needed a quick start against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in a Mid-American Conference dual.

The Chippewas delivered the quick start they needed. 

Junior Drew Hildebrandt opened the dual in the 125-pound weight class with a pin of Gage Datlovsky midway through the first period. Redshirt sophomore earned a technical fall over Jacob Blaha to give CMU an 11-0 lead through the first two bouts. 

In Sunday's third match, redshirt junior Dresden Simon continued the Chippewas' momentum with a 14-4 major decision over Saul Ervin. The win extended CMU's lead to 15-0 and gave it all the momentum going through the rest of the dual. 

“Starting off the dual there is always momentum," Simon said. "The better you do as an individual that gives more motivation to the guys that wrestle after you."

Central Michigan (3-4, 3-2 MAC) carried the momentum to make the difference in its 25-15 win over SIUE on Sunday in McGuirk Arena. 

Despite the strong start, the Chippewas' lead was erased in the middle part of the lineup. The Cougars won four consecutive matches, including a pin from Justin Ruffin over senior Logan Parks in the 157-pound weight class. 

SIUE tied the team score at 15 with three matches to go in the dual. 

Redshirt freshman Ben Cushman scored a win that helped regain the team's momentum. Cushman earned a takedown in the second period, taking a 3-0 lead. Cushman finished the 4-0 victory with a riding time point over Austin Andres. Cushman earned the win by wrestling on the mat as opposed to on his feet. 

His last win was at the Midlands Championship in late December.

“It’s hard to do especially for a freshman to hold a guy down that’s probably a little older and more experienced than him," said CMU coach Tom Borrelli. "Usually when you wrestle on a match strength is more of a factor than it is on your feet."

Central Michigan has two road duals against MAC foes Ohio and Cleveland State before three straight duals at home -- Feb. 7 against Buffalo, Feb. 9 against Kent State and Feb. 21 against Michigan State. 

Before the road duals, the Chippewas have a week off and will have the opportunity to practice, refocus and prepare. 

“We can do a lot of work this week on improving and getting healthy and maybe work on our conditioning some," Borrelli said. "We have to have a good week of practice and make sure we’re healthy."

Here are the results from Central Michigan's 25-15 win over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. 

125 - Drew Hildebrandt def. Gage Datlovsky by fall (1:42)

133 - Drew Marten def. Jacob Blaha by technical fall, 17-1 (4:34) 

141 - Dresden Simon def. Saul Ervin by major decision, 14-4

149 - Tyshawn Williams def. redshirt freshman Corbyn Munson by decision, 15-8. 

157 - Justin Ruffin def. Logan Parks by fall (1:46) 

165 - Chase Diehl def. redshirt freshman Tracy Hubbard by decision, 6-4 (SV-1)

174 - Kevin Gschwendtner def. redshirt sophomore Jake Lowell by decision, 11-6

184 - Ben Cushman def. Austin Andres by decision, 4-0

197 - Redshirt junior Landon Pelham def. Jake McKiernan by major decision, 15-2

285 - Junior Matt Stencel def. Colton McKiernan by decision, 7-2