WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue's wrestling team clinched its first winning Big Ten dual season since 1998 on Monday night after beating Indiana 28-13 at Holloway Gymnasium.
The Boilermakers improved to 14-5 overall and 5-3 in conference action and earned a point for Purdue in the coveted Crimson and Gold Cup all-sport series between the Boilermakers and Hoosiers.
"It is just a special win," said Purdue head coach Scott Hinkel. "It is a special win for a lot of these kids that are from Indiana. We are all recruiting the same Indiana kids. Every Big Ten win is very tough and well deserved by our guys but that one is a little extra special in having to Big Ten schools in the same state."
Purdue's win was its third straight over the Hoosiers and fourth straight in Big Ten duals this season, marking their longest conference win streak since a four-match stretch in 1998. The 14 dual victories are the Boilermakers' most in a season under sixth-year head coach Scott Hinkel and their most overall since an 18-win dual season in 2004.
The Boilermakers got off to a slow start in the dual, dropping matches by decision at 184 and 285 pounds. Despite the losses, Purdue offset the six points by receiving a forfeit at 197 pounds, improving former Delphi wrestler and current Purdue sophomore Braden Atwood's record to 21-6 on the year.
Purdue Junior Camden Eppert got the run going with a dominant 10-3 victory over Indiana sophomore Joe Duca at 125 pounds. Purdue Junior Cashe Quiroga put on a takedown clinic at 133 pounds, rolling out a season-high 11 takedowns in a 23-9 major decision over Indiana freshman Alonzo Shepherd. The run continued at 141 pounds as Purdue sophomore Brandon Nelsen put up several points in the second and third periods en route to a 12-2 major decision, his sixth of the season. Purdue's Ivan Lopouchanski finished off the Boilermaker rally at 149 pounds in dominant fashion, needing 5:32 to score a 23-8 technical fall over Indiana sophomore Preston Keiffer.
The Boilermakers return to action this weekend, heading to Columbia, Mo., for the regional of the NWCA National Duals. Purdue anticipates earning the No. 2 seed in the region and should face No. 21 Wyoming on Sunday, Feb. 17.
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