COLUMBIA — Oklahoma came into the Hearnes Center and dominated the Missouri wrestling team, winning seven of 10 matches to defeat the Tigers 25-10, leaving Missouri completely stunned in front of the crowd of over 4,000 people who had come to watch the combined wrestling/gymnastics event "Beauty and the Beast."
The Missouri lightweights have struggled all season, and that was one of the key frustrations for the Tigers again against the Sooners.
One of the lightweight matches where Missouri gave up bonus points was at 133 pounds, where freshman Nathan McCormick lost to Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple 16-0.
After the match, McCormick walked over to the Missouri bench, trying to hold back his emotions, grabbed his warm up gear, and ran off the Hearnes Center floor, with tears rolling down his face.
Missouri lost the next three matches to fall behind 19-3.
“It’s frustrating to see those matches,” senior Max Askren said, referring to the lightweight matches. “It’s frustrating to see people not put in the work and effort. Do something. Just do something, period.”
Askren was clueless as to what Missouri's problem is.
“If there’s anything I could do, I would do it. But yeah, I don’t know what there is to do,” Askren said.
The loss to Oklahoma marks the second-straight loss for the wrestlers in the "Beauty and the Beast" match.
“They just wrestled tougher than us,” MU Coach Brian Smith said. “It has nothing to do with everything else going on around here. They were beating us on top, getting away on bottom and scoring the first takedown, and that’s what wins in wrestling. We teach it that way, we just weren’t doing it.”
Missouri was only able to win three matches on the night, with Askren, and seniors Nick Marable and Mark Ellis, earning wins. The three will wrestle their last match at the Hearnes Center at 1 p.m. on Sunday against Oklahoma State, which is ranked as high as No. 3 in the country.
One of the key matches against the Cowboys will be at heavyweight, with Missouri’s defending national champion, Ellis, wrestling against Oklahoma State’s Jared Rosholt, currently ranked No. 1 in the country.
“I was not looking forward to this match at all tonight,” Ellis said. “I’m not happy with the way I or any of the other guys wrestled tonight. But all you can do is keep plugging away and see what happens. It’s a big match tomorrow. It’s huge.”