COLUMBIA — The third time was not the charm for the Missouri wrestling team Friday night. At the third annual Beauty and the Beast meet, the Tigers lost 22-14 to Central Michigan.
Missouri lost its first four matches putting them into a 16-0 hole before senior Michael Chandler beat his opponent 16-0 to earn a technical fall.
This made the score 16-5 with No. 5-ranked Nicholas Marable at 165 pounds and No. 5-ranked Raymond Jordan at 174 pounds wrestling after him with a chance to get the Tigers back into it.
Both Marable and Jordan were upset by their opponents, making the score 22-5, and almost impossible for Missouri to mount a comeback. The Tigers won their final three matches, but the late rally was not enough.
“We just got out toughed,” Missouri coach Brian Smith said. “We had a team come in and was just physically tougher. They didn’t do anything fancy, they just were tough to us. We let them really take the fight to us. I’m really embarrassed as a coach, and I’m let down by my kids.”
The gymnastics team did well and the Hearnes Center was louder than usual, but Smith said this cannot be an excuse, especially with the NCAA Tournament only a month away.
Smith was happy with the performances of Chandler and Dorian Henderson, but thinks that the whole team can wrestle better. He hopes to see more attacking and less standing around on Sunday against Iowa State at the Hearnes Center in the team’s final dual meet of the season.
“We can’t go into matches afraid to lose,” Smith said. “You have to go out to win them.”
By the time junior Max Askren wrestled, the meet was out of reach.
“We came in with a bad mindset,” Askren said. “I don’t know if it was the week leading up to it or I don’t know if it’s the dual meet on Sunday. I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t seem like we showed up.”
The team came into the dual with a lot of confidence after beating Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this past weekend. Chandler said this dual will not affect how the team will feel going into their dual on Sunday.
“We didn’t perform as well as we can,” Chandler said. “This happens in any sport. With something like this, we’re not really worried at all.”