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No. 2 Missouri rallies to defeat No. 11 Virginia Tech, 22-17

by Missouri Athletics

Kade Moore (Missouri) celebrates after his pin over Sam Latona (VT) at 133 pounds. (Photo by Mark Lundy, Lutte Lens)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The No. 2-ranked University of Missouri wrestling team snapped its three-match losing streak against No. 11 Virginia Tech, overcoming a six-point deficit to defeat the Hokies, 22-17, at Hearnes Center on Tuesday, Jan. 2. The Tigers maintain their undefeated start to the 2023-24 season, improving to 6-0, while the Hokies fall to 3-2.


Redshirt junior Noah Surtin fought valiantly in the night's opener at 125 pounds, but dropped a sudden-victory decision against No. 11 Cooper Flynn. The Tigers got their win back with the next bout, as redshirt freshman Kade Moore claimed a monumental upset over No. 5 Sam Latona at 133 pounds, pinning the two-time NCAA All-American in the second period.


Another trio of close decision losses followed, as redshirt sophomore Josh Edmond (141) and redshirt junior Logan Gioffre (149) dropped their matches by a combined three points. In a top-10 showdown at 157 pounds, redshirt senior Brock Mauller could not upend No. 7 Bryce Andonian headed into the intermission trailing by six.


Coming out of intermission, Keegan O'Toole went to work at 165 pounds, picking up a tech fall over No. 27 Connor Brady. James Conway (174) could not pull off another top-five upset, falling to No. 2 Mekhi Lewis as the Tigers entered the final three bouts trailing 17-11.


Redshirt freshman Clayton Whiting started the rally at 184 pounds by taking down Dakota Howard in a 11-3 major decision. Junior Rocky Elam (197) pitched a shutout against No. 21 Andy Smith with an 11-0 major decision to give the Tigers a late lead at 19-17. With the dual coming down to the heavyweights, redshirt senior Zach Elam (285) left no room for drama, winning a comfortable decision to clinch the dual.


MATCH NOTES


* The Tigers advance to 5-3 all-time in dual competition against the Hokies.

* With the victory, Mizzou breaks its three-match losing streak against Virginia Tech. It is the program's first time beating the Hokies since Nov. 16, 2018.

* Moore picked up his first career ranked victory over No. 5 Sam Latona with his first fall of the season.

* O'Toole's tech fall marks his eighth bonus-point victory of the campaign. He has secured bonus points in every match he's competed in at 165 pounds.

* Whiting's 11-3 major decision win gives him six bonus-point victories on the season. All of his wins have come by bonus points.

* The victory after a six-point deficit marks Mizzou's biggest comeback victory since recovering from an early 12-3 hole against No. 14 Arizona State on Feb. 12, 2022.


UP NEXT


The Tigers embark on a month-long road stretch with a dual against No. 18 Stanford on Wednesday, Jan. 10. The matchup will take place in Burnham Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif. and is slated to start at 4:00 p.m. CT on Pac-12 Network.


No. 2 Missouri 22 | No. 11 Virginia Tech 17

125 | (11) Cooper Flynn (VT) over (9) Noah Surtin by dec. SV-1 10-3

133 | Kade Moore (MIZZ) over (5) Sam Latona by fall (4:37)

141 | Tom Crook (VT) over (18) Josh Edmond by dec. 9-8

149 | (2) Caleb Henson (VT) over (20) Logan Gioffre by dec. 6-4

157 | (7) Bryce Andonian (VT) over (9) Brock Mauller by dec. 13-10

165 | (1) Keegan O'Toole (MIZZ) over (27) Connor Brady by dec. TF 20-4 (6:01)

174 | (2) Mekhi Lewis (VT) over James Conoway by dec. TF 15-0 (4:00)

184 | (9) Clayton Whiting (MIZZ) over Dakota Howard by dec. MD 11-3

197 | (6) Rocky Elam (MIZZ) over (21) Andy Smith by dec. MD 11-0

285 | (6) Zach Elam (MIZZ) over (20) Hunter Catka by dec. 8-1

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