#8 Illinois Downs Hoosiers, 29-10
Jan. 29, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Hoosier Wrestling (6-6) won both of the marquee battles against #8 Illinois (12-2) as Taylor Walsh and Matt Powless each defeated their nationally-ranked foes. The Fighting Illini ultimately won the war by taking the dual 29-10. Hoosier heavyweight Adam Chalfant was also victorious on Sunday for the Cream and Crimson.
The dual started at 157 pounds and saw Illinois take the first four bouts. Ryan LeBlanc gave 12th-ranked and former All-American Jordan Blanton all he could handle though at 174 pounds. LeBlanc built a 6-3 lead heading into the third period thanks to a four-point move that put Blanton on his back and a pair of escapes. Blanton posted an escape and takedown in the third frame, however, forcing sudden victory where he would go on to win, 8-6.
Powless, ranked third nationally, put an end to the Illinois run in the 197 lbs. match-up. After giving up a quick takedown to #16 Mario Gonzalez, Powless revved it up and scored 11 points in a multitude of ways (takedown, near fall, reversal, escape and over four minutes of riding time) to secure an 11-3 major decision. It marked the team-leading 8th major for Powless this season and 33rd of his career.
The Newburgh, Ind., native now has 113 career victories. His next `W' will pull him even with assistant coach Joe Dubuque (2002-06) and Sam Komar (1975-78) for ninth all-time in school history. Three more wins and he passes both assistants to move up into seventh place as Pat DeGain racked up 115 wins in his illustrious Hoosier career.
Chalfant made it back-to-back IU wins in the subsequent bout, besting Patrick Walker by the final score of 5-2. Despite a 17-pound weight disadvantage, Chalfant sent Walker airborne in the opening period before slamming him into the mat and recording the takedown. The match would remain in question for the next few minutes though until Chalfant sealed the deal with his second takedown late in the final frame.
The second marquee pairing of the day came last, pairing Walsh versus #15 Eric Terrazas. Not only did Walsh earn his fourth win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season, but he did so in impressive fashion by blanking Terrazas, 7-0. Walsh improves to 4-1 in Big Ten duals.
It's a busy weekend upcoming for the Hoosiers, slated for three dual matches. It starts with a trip to Edwardsville, Ill., for a double dip against SIU-Edwardsville and South Dakota State on Friday (Feb. 3). Indiana then jumps right back into conference action, hosting the final home dual of the season when arch-rival Purdue comes to town on Sunday (Feb. 5) at 2 p.m.
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