Wrestling battles back for win over Boston University

The Binghamton wrestling team overcame an early deficit to defeat Boston University, 23-18, in Sunday’s match at the West Gym.

The Terriers (3-8) led, 15-4, halfway through the match until 184-pound junior Caleb Wallace sparked a comeback that would put the Bearcats (4-10) up, 23-15, as they rallied for four straight wins. Four of Binghamton’s five wins produced bonus points.

“I think heading into the match, we had a good feeling the individual matchups could be split 5-5,” Binghamton head coach Matt Dernlan said. “We understood bonus points were going to be critical to the outcome of the match.”

Wallace (12-11, 6-8 duals) was in control through the majority of his match against 184-pound freshman Aaron Conrad and ended the bout when he threw Conrad on his back at 5:58. The win brought the Bearcats within striking distance with the score at 15-10.

Following Wallace’s victory, 197-pound senior Cody Reed (21-8, 8-3 duals) dominated Boston University’s 184-pound senior Alex Najjar to a 21-9 major decision. The win extended Reed’s personal win streak to eight consecutive and brought the Bearcats within one point, 15-14.

Dernlan praised Reed’s work ethic and stated that “consistency” was the one factor of his game that he needed to work on. Yet after eight straight wins, Dernlan said there’s “no secret, no magic … he’s believing the game plan we’re putting in front of him, and he’s executing them flawlessly.”

BU took the lead for good when heavyweight junior Tyler Deuel (23-5, 12-2 duals) earned his team-high ninth pin of the season against heavyweight senior Kevin Innis with six seconds left in the second period. Deuel’s victory was his 11th consecutive duals win.

Dernlan praised Deuel’s growth as a wrestler and leader, calling the No. 31 ranking he carried into the weekend “pretty significant.”

“To our guys’ credit, after the 174, after losing four out of the first five, momentum was really in Boston’s favor, it was … a big character moment for our upper-weights,” Dernlan said.

125-pound junior David White sealed the Bearcats’ victory with a close win against 125-pound senior Bubba McGinley. White, ranked at No. 32, was tied with McGinley, 6-6, and was suffering from riding time before escaping and scoring the deciding takedown with 36 seconds left. He held on to win, 9-6.

Binghamton’s fourth winner was 149-pound junior Joe Bonaldi, who defeated 149-pound junior Peter Ishiguro, 19-8. Bonaldi recorded eight takedowns in his major decision.

Next up, the Bearcats will take on EIWA rival Hofstra on Feb. 7. The two are set to start action at 7 p.m. from the Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex in Hempstead, N.Y.