#9 Illini Blast #17 Indiana, 23-9

Roger Smith-Bergsrud upset No. 12 Matt Coughlin, 4-3, at 165 to ice No. 9 Illinois' 23-9 win at No. 17 Indiana.
Roger Smith-Bergsrud upset No. 12 Matt Coughlin, 4-3, at 165 to ice No. 9 Illinois' 23-9 win at No. 17 Indiana.

Feb. 10, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - No. 9 Illinois won five of the first six bouts at No. 17 Indiana on Sunday and a 4-3 win by Roger Smith-Bergsrud against No. 12 Matt Coughlin after two overtime rounds sealed the 23-9 victory for the Illini. Illinois improves to 11-2 overall, 3-1 in the Big Ten at the halfway point of the conference slate.

"Overall, it was a good performance," Illinois coach Mark Johnson said. "Top to bottom we had a lot of good matches, but a couple of guys had slip-ups. We just need to make sure we can get all of our guys hitting on the same day."

With the match starting at 197, No. 13 Patrick Bond became Illinois' sixth 20-win grappler this season by controlling the match against Eric Cameron and earning an 8-3 decision. No. 17 John Wise then recovered from a tough loss on Friday with a 9-1 major decision over Nate Everhart at heavyweight.

"We've been getting out of the blocks well lately, regardless of which weight class we start at," Johnson said. "Bond continued to wrestle well and Wise actually dominated his guy, so that was good to see."

At 125, Indiana's second-ranked Angel Escobedo remained perfect on the season with a 9-2 win against No. 9 Gabe Flores, cutting the Illini lead to 7-3. But No. 9 Jimmy Kennedy earned a tight 4-3 decision over No. 12 Andrae Hernandez and No. 10 Ryan Prater scored a major decision over Scott Kelly with an 10-2 win, pushing Illinois' lead to 14-3.

Grant Paswall notched a 12-7 win over Kurt Kinser at 149, giving the Illini their biggest lead of the day at 17-3 before No. 1 Mike Poeta was upset for the second time in as many weeks, dropping a 3-2 decision to No. 8 Brandon Becker.

But Roger Smith-Bergsrud picked up his teammates at 165, pulling out a 4-3 victory over Coughlin with a one-second riding time advantage after the second overtime round. It was Smith-Bergsrud's first win over a ranked opponent this season and his first since outlasting Ohio State's 10th-ranked Chris Vondruska in sudden-victory time on Feb. 18, 2007.

"Coughlin really wasn't getting close to scoring on Roger except at the end of the first overtime because he never shot," Johnson said. "Roger got in a few more shots, but he won on the second ride-out even though they had some clock problems. Duane Goldman, Indiana's coach, said Roger won because he had more riding time and he showed a lot of class by doing that."

No. 16 John Dergo (174) cruised to an 8-2 victory over Trevor Perry to complete a 2-0 weekend for the sophomore, giving him wins in six of his last seven bouts and a 22-8 season record. Redshirt-freshman Ben Friedl dropped a 9-6 decision to Marc Bennett at 184, but Illinois won the dual by a 23-9 margin. Up Next: The Illini continue their three-match road swing with an extremely tough dual at No. 4 Minnesota on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. Illinois then swings through Evanston, Ill., to face the 11th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats at 2 p.m. Sunday.

#9 Illinois 23, #17 Indiana 9
Match started at 197
197: #13 Patrick Bond (ILL) dec. Eric Cameron (IND), 8-3 (3-0)
HWT: #17 John Wise (ILL) maj. dec. Nate Everhart (IND), 9-1 (7-0)
125: #2 Angel Escobedo (IND) dec. #9 Gabe Flores (ILL), 9-2 (7-3)
133: #9 Jimmy Kennedy (ILL) dec. #12 Andrae Hernandez (IND), 4-3 (10-3)
141: #10 Ryan Prater (ILL) maj. dec. Scott Kelly (IND), 10-2 (14-3)
149: Grant Paswall (ILL) dec. Kurt Kinser (IND), 12-7 (17-3)
157: #8 Brandon Becker (IND) dec. #1 Mike Poeta (ILL), 3-2 (17-6)
165: Roger Smith-Bergsrud (ILL) dec. #12 Matt Coughlin (IND), 4-3 (TB3) (20-6)
174: #16 John Dergo (ILL) dec. Trevor Perry (IND), 8-2 (23-6)
184: Marc Bennett (IND) dec. Ben Friedl (ILL), 9-6 (23-9)