Illini End Regular Season With Purdue Win
The sixth-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team finished out the regular season strong, defeating No. 13 Purdue, 24-15, today in West LaFayette. With the win, the Illini improve to 13-2 overall (7-2 Big Ten), while Purdue drops to 15-6-1 (3-4-1 Big Ten).
Illinois jumped out to an early 7-0 lead with back-to-back wins by junior 141-pounder Carl Perry and sophomore 149-pounder Adam Tirapelle. Purdue pulled within one when Willie Wineberg recorded a pin over Griff Powell at 157 pounds, but that was as close as the Boilermakers would come as Illinois' 165-pounder Bill Zeman responded with a pin of his own over Dan Rendell at the 1:52 mark to give the Illini a 13-6 lead.
Three more decisions, two of them majors, at 184, 197 and heavyweight sealed the win for Illinois despite two straight Purdue wins to end the meet. After missing the last three matches due to a minor hip injury, senior heavyweight Karl Roesler returned to the starting lineup, posting a 10-2 major decision over Jacob Vercelli.
"This was a super way for us to end the season against a good, solid team like Purdue," said UI head coach Mark Johnson. "Coming off such a huge win against Iowa last week, we were a little worried about a letdown but I think we responded well. These last two weekends are a great springboard into the Big Ten and NCAA Championships."
Illinois will next compete at the Big Ten Championships at the University of Michigan, March 6-7.
#6 Illinois 24, #13 Purdue 15
Wght -- Result -- Score (Ill.-PU)