Wrestling tops Wisconsin in battle of Big Ten powerhouses Friday

By Ryan Dixon

The No. 9 Fighting Illini wrestling team never trailed against No. 13 Wisconsin Friday night by claiming seven of the 10 matches to win the dual 24-13.

Illinois (10-2, 2-1) propelled out to a 9-0 lead from decision victories by No. 9 nationally-ranked Gabe Flores (125 pounds), No. 9 Jimmy Kennedy (133) and No. 10 Ryan Prater (141).

Prater fought back in his bought by earning an escape as time expired to send the match to overtime. When in overtime, Prater locked up the comeback with a takedown to win the match 8-6.

Not to be outdone, No. 16 John Dergo (174) secured a pin-fall in his match and No. 13 Patrick Bond (197) upset No. 4 Dallas Herbst on the night.

No. 1 Mike Poeta remained unbeaten versus No. 3 Craig Henning this year by edging out a 1-0 victory at 157 pounds. It was Poeta’s third victory against Henning this year.

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The Illini will head to Bloomington, Ind., on Sunday and continue conference duals with No. 17 Indiana.