A pair of underclassmen also came up with critical victories in the matchup of two of the elite programs in the country as redshirt freshman Lucas Smith and sophomore Mike Ottinger each claimed overtime matches versus ranked opponents.
Cullinan, ranked No. 9 in the country at 125 pounds, opened the dual for the Chippewas (9-3) with an 11-0 major decision over Dale Boyd. Cullinan went ahead on a takedown 49 seconds into the first period and was able to score back points twice in the match with a two-point near fall in the first and a three-point near fall in the second.
After No. 8 Scotti Sentes fell to No. 7 Nate McCormick, junior Scott Mattingly used a second period reversal and takedown to earn a 4-3 decision over Eric Wilson at 141. Again the Tigers (7-1-1) pulled within a point after an 8-2 loss by senior Donnie Corby to No. 16 Drake Houdashelt, but Smith and Ottinger swung the momentum back in the Chippewas' favor.
An even three periods sent Smith to overtime versus No. 20 Kyle Bradley where the redshirt freshman was able to score a reversal with just eight seconds left in the first tie breaker to earn a 6-5 win. Ottinger then kept the fireworks going for the Maroon and Gold, earning a takedown 39 seconds into sudden victory to upset No. 10 Zach Toal at 165 pounds, 6-4.
The Chippewas were able to secure the match behind a major decision by No. 2 Ben Bennett over No. 9 Mike Larson, 8-0. Bennett led 4-0 after two periods, but scored two back points and was awarded a penalty point while accumulating 3:38 of riding time to secure bonus points for CMU.
The bonus points proved crucial as redshirt freshman Jackson Lewis dropped a major decision to No. 12 Brent Haynes, 10-0, at 197 and senior Jarod Trice fell to the No. 1 heavyweight in the country in a close fought 3-1 decision.
Trice and Dom Bradley, who each took Olympics redshirts last season, were tied through regulation, 1-1, before Bradley earned an escape in the first tiebreaker and was awarded a caution point.
The Chippewas will be back in action next Sunday when they host rival Kent State inside McGuirk Arena at 2 p.m. Both the Chippewas and Golden Flashes enter the dual undefeated and the Maroon and Gold can secure at least a share of the Mid-American Conference regular season title with a win.
No. 12 Central Michigan 17, No. 7
125: No. 9 Christian Cullinan (CMU) maj. dec. Dale Boyd, 11-0; CMU 4-0
133: No. 7 Nate McCormick (Mizzou) dec. No. 8 Scotti Sentes, 7-1; CMU 4-3
141: Scott Mattingly (CMU) dec. Eric Wilson, 4-3; CMU 7-3
149: No. 16 Drake Houdashelt (Mizzou) dec. Donnie Corby, 8-2; CMU 7-6
157: Lucas Smith (CMU) dec. No. 20 Kyle Bradley, 6-5 TB1; CMU 10-6
165: Mike Ottinger (CMU) dec. No. 10 Zach Toal, 6-4 SV; CMU 13-6
174: Todd Porter (Mizzou) dec. No. 20 Craig Kelliher, 2-0; CMU 13-9
184: No. 2 Ben Bennett (CMU) maj. dec. No. 9 Mike Larson, 8-0; CMU 17-9
197: No. 12 Brent Haynes (Mizzou) maj. dec. Jackson Lewis, 10-0; CMU 17-13
Hwt: No. 1 Dom Bradley (Mizzou) dec. No. 6 Jarod Trice, 3-1 TB1; CMU 17-16