Late Rally Falls Short Against Purdue

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EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern won five bouts, including the final three, against Purdue in yet another close dual between the Wildcats and Boilermakers Sunday at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Senior Jacob Berkowitz, ranked No. 16 in the country at 197 lbs., racked up his 17th win of the season, beating Christian Brunner, 7-5. Berkowitz has won six of his last eight and continued his winning ways after placing eighth at the annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.

“Berkowitz had a coming out party at Midlands,” head coach Matt Storniolo said. “He knocked off a couple of ranked wrestlers, one a returning All-American, and he earned that ranking that he has now. But he can’t sit back and hang his hat on that. This is about building from here on out and setting himself up to qualify for NCAAs.”

Johnny Sebastian (165) and Mitch Sliga (184) both won their respective bouts to reach 13 wins apiece, while Conan Jennings came out victorious at 285 for the 12th time this year.

Winning four of the final five bouts was not quite enough for the Wildcats, as Purdue hung on for a 20-16 win. Five of the last seven duals between the two teams, including this one, have been decided by six points or fewer.

Alec McKenna got the Wildcats on the board first with a 1-0 win at 141 lbs. over Kyle Ayersman. After a scoreless first period, McKenna escaped to begin the second, which was all the scoring he needed as he rode out Ayersman for the entire third period to win.

Purdue won four of the first five bouts, though, and racked up bonus points in two of them, including a pin at 157, to give them the deciding advantage.

Northwestern is right back at home on Friday when it hosts Michigan State in a 7 p.m. dual.

Purdue 20, Northwestern 16
125: Ben Thornton (PUR) dec. Anthony Rubinetti (NU), 13-6 [PUR 3, NU 0]
133: Luke Welch (PUR) dec. Jason Ipsarides (NU), 8-2 [PUR 6, NU 0]
141: Alec McKenna (NU) dec. Kyle Ayersman (PUR), 1-0 [PUR 6, NU 3]
149: Jeremy Golding (PUR) dec. Shayne Oster (NU), 6-2 [PUR 9, NU 3]
157: #14 Alex Griffin (PUR) Tech Fall Ben Sullivan (NU), 16-0 (3:05) [PUR 14, NU 3]
165: Johnny Sebastian (NU) maj. dec. Dylan Lydy (PUR), 12-4 [PUR 14, NU 7]
174: Jacob Morrissey (PUR) Fall Braxton Cody (NU), 0:50 [PUR 20, NU 7]
184: #21 Mitch Sliga (NU) dec. Tanner Lynde (PUR), 11-7 [PUR 20, NU 10]
197: #16 Jacob Berkowitz (NU) dec. Christian Brunner (PUR), 7-5 [PUR 20, NU 13]
285: Conan Jennings (NU) dec. Tyler Kral (PUR), 2-0 [PUR 20, NU 16]