COLUMBIA — Emanuel Brooks was content to let his opponents make mistakes.
Wrestling at 157 pounds in MU's Black and Gold exhibition event Saturday afternoon at Hearnes Center, the senior was matched up against redshirt freshman Patrick Wright. After winning 3-1, he faced nationally ranked senior Michael Chandler and beat him 3-2. Both times, Brooks used a takedown in the final 10 seconds to win defensive battles.
"Pat Wright, he's very defensive, and I am also, so I knew it was going to be a close scoring match," Brooks said. "I knew I was in control of the match even though no one had scored. At the end, I knew I didn't want to go to overtime, because I knew I had another match coming up with Chandler, so I wanted to get it over with as soon as possible."
Brooks called Chandler a defensive-minded wrestler, and during the match Brooks allowed him to be aggressive offensively.
"With Chandler ... I felt like I had two (points) in the first period, but it is what it is," Brooks said. "If he shoots, I'm gonna score, and he knows that. He didn't take too many shots, so I knew I had to make something happen."
Other Tigers who had success included junior Nick Marable, who pulled away late to a 15-4 win over Todd Porter. Junior Max Askren pinned freshman Jake Glore in the second round of their 197-pound matchup.
The most tightly contested match of the night took place between heavyweights Dom Bradley and Mark Ellis. After several overtime periods, Bradley prevailed 3-2.
Coach Brian Smith said scrimmages like Black and Gold provide a chance for wrestlers to compete for starting spots.
"Like a team sport, when you get your chance, you got to perform," he said. "They're going to have pressure, because every time they get their opportunity, they're going to have to really step up and perform.
"The next three or four weeks, there's a ton of competition going on. We do a lot of wrestling over the next few weeks. We'll have a good indication (of where the team stands). When you come to the Missouri Open, at every one of those weights there's nationally ranked guys from other teams there."
Brooks said that even with a high ranking, he feels MU wrestling is underrated.
"A lot of people don't know we have some studs on this team," he said.
The first regular season contest for the team takes place at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at Lock Haven (Pa.).