EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – In its first-ever home Mid-American Conference match, the SIUE Cougars are winners.
The Cougars picked up their first victory of the season with a 20-16 triumph over Buffalo. SIUE is now 1-7 overall and 1-1 in the MAC.
"We're very excited," said SIUE Head Coach Jeremy Spates. "Our guys have been close for a while. We've been wrestling well and have had a lot of individual success, but obviously the team record is not there. This was a huge win for the guys."
Sergio Villalobos earned the decisive win for the Cougars with a late third-period takedown over Buffalo's Logan Rill. Villalobos won 5-2.
"For him to come and get that win is awesome," said Spates.
SIUE and Buffalo split the opening two matches with the Cougars' Christian Dulaney starting off with a 7-4 decision over Brett Perry. Buffalo's Jake Gunning evened the team score with a 4-2 win over Colton McKiernan at heavyweight.
SIUE 125-pound freshman Austin Macias pulled off the biggest victory of the night, pinning Kyle Akins in 2 minutes 39 seconds.
"That was huge," said Spates. "That kid (Akins) is a really good kid. Like Sergio, Austin has been struggling this season."
Buffalo, now 7-4 overall and 1-1 in the MAC, would take the lead 13-9 with a pair of technical falls at 133 and 141 pounds.
After a major decision for Buffalo's Jake Lanning at 174 points, that set up the final match of the night to decide the final team score.
"It wasn't the best crowd because of the snowstorm, but we had a decent crowd in there and they were all fired up. I think that really kind of turns the momentum of the meet around," said Spates.
SIUE next heads to Northern Illinois Sunday for a 1 p.m.
SIUE 20 Buffalo 16
197 Christian Dulaney (SIUE) over Brett Perry (Buffalo) (Dec 7-4)
285 Jake Gunning (Buffalo) over Colton McKiernan (SIUE) (Dec 4-2)
125 Austin Macias (SIUE) over Kyle Akins (Buffalo) (Fall 2:39)
133 Derek Spann (Buffalo) over Lucas Bernal (SIUE) (TF 16-0 4:20)
141 Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) over Jake Blaha (SIUE) (TF 18-3 3:55)
149 Tyshawn Williams (SIUE) over Jason Estevez (Buffalo) (Dec 10-5)
157 Justin Ruffin (SIUE) over Alex Smythe (Buffalo) (Dec 5-3)
165 Nate Higgins (SIUE) over Troy Keller (Buffalo) (Dec 3-1)
174 Jake Lanning (Buffalo) over Kevin Gschwendtner (SIUE) (MD 13-4)
184 Sergio Villalobos (SIUE) over Logan Rill (Buffalo) (Dec 5-2)
Buffalo 1pt deduction for unsportsmanlike conduct
SIUE 1pt deduction for throwing headgear