DeKALB, Ill. - Central Michigan kept its Mid-American Conference record unblemished Friday with a 23-12 road victory over Northern Illinois.
The No. 12 Chippewas' (9-3, 3-0) victory was the 17th in the last 18 meetings versus the Huskies (7-5, 0-3 MAC) and set up a battle of unbeatens with Kent State next Sunday, January 27 inside McGuirk Arena.
The Huskies claimed three of the first five matches of the night to grab an early 9-7 lead before sophomore Mike Ottinger put the Chippewas in front with a key 13-5 major decision victory at 165 pounds.
Ottinger used a pair of takedowns and a pair of escapes to grab a 6-2 lead through the first two periods before recording three more takedowns in the final period for the bonus-point win.
Bennett, ranked No. 2 in the country at 184 pounds, took down Bryan Loughlin with 50 seconds to go in the first period and scored a pair of three-point near falls to grab a 8-0 lead through one. After choosing bottom to start the second, Bennett escaped and took down Loughlin again before putting him to his back at the 3:42 mark.
Junior Joe Roth opened the dual with a 10-1 major decision at 125 pounds and senior No. 6 Jarod Trice closed the night with a 4-0 decision at the heavyweight division. Senior Donnie Corby also claimed a 7-4 decision at 149 pounds.
The Chippewas will be back in action Saturday when they take on No. 7 Missouri in Columbia. The Tigers are undefeated on the year with a 7-0-1 record.
No. 12 Central
Michigan 23, Northern Illinois 12
125: Joe Roth (CMU) dec. Derek Elmore, 10-1; CMU 4-0
133: Nick Smith (NIU) dec. Tyler Keselring, 5-3; CMU 4-3
141: Kevin Fanta (NIU) dec. Scott Mattingly, 8-2; NIU 6-4
149: Donnie Corby (CMU) dec. Robert Jillard, 7-4; CMU 7-6
157: Andrew Morse (NIU) dec. Lucas Smith, 5-1; NIU 9-7
165: Mike Ottinger (CMU) maj. dec. Dan Burk, 13-5; CMU 11-9
174: No. 20 Craig Kelliher (CMU) dec. Matt Mougin, 5-1; CMU 14-9
184: No. 2 Ben Bennett (CMU) pin Bryan Loughlin, 3:42; CMU 20-9
197: Parker Settecase (NIU) dec. Jackson Lewis, 2-1; CMU 20-12
Hwt: No. 6 Jarod Trice (CMU) dec. Jared Torrence, 4-0; CMU 23-12