The Binghamton men’s wrestling team extended its win streak to five duals with a 21-15 win over Northwestern on Friday night. The win marked the Bearcats’ first win over a Big 10 opponent since 2017. BU held a slight 18-15 lead heading into the final matchup, where junior Brevin Cassella earned a 5-0 decision win in his 165-pound contest to secure the win for the Bearcats.

“We did what we needed to do to get the win,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “There’s room for improvement in our performance. It came down to the last match, which was a great experience for [Cassella]. Pressure [was put] on him and [he needed] to get a win against probably the best guy on their team for us to win the dual, and he was able to do that. I was happy that Northwestern challenged us the way they did. It’s been a long time since we’ve taken a flight to compete. We’ve got to figure out how to be a little less flat after a long travel like this.”

Graduate student Lou DePrez, redshirt senior Cory Day and junior Micah Roes led the way for the Bearcats (9-3, 7-2 EIWA), picking up major decision wins over their Northwestern (1-9, 1-7 Big 10) opponents in their respective 197, 285 and 133-pound matchups. Redshirt sophomore Nate Lucier and redshirt junior Dimitri Gamkrelidze also added to the Bearcats’ win total with decision wins in their respective 141 and 174-pound matchups.

“[DePrez, Day and Roes] did great, [and] they did what they needed to do,” Borshoff said. “They attacked well, they executed on all their finishes well, [and] they wrestled clean matches overall. It’s what we expected those guys to do, and they went out and did that. [Gamkrelidze] did a nice job — he put his opponent on his back early in the match, and I really thought he should have had a pin there, but the call didn’t go our way. [Lucier] did a nice job as well, continuing to attack and be offensive.”

Gamkrelidze started Binghamton off with a win before a back-and-forth ensued between the Bearcats and Wildcats. The early 3-3 tie between the teams was broken with DePrez and Day’s back-to-back major decision wins. Roes’ 9-0 major decision win was followed by Lucier’s 9-2 victory by decision, putting the Bearcats up 18-6 with three matches left for the night. The Wildcats bounced back with a major decision win and a win by tech-fall, putting the score at 18-15 heading into the deciding 165-pound matchup.

“First, we’re trying to figure out what happens if we lose [the final matchup],” Borshoff said. “I had my assistant coach Anthony Sobotker looking at match points to figure out what the tie-breaker would look like if we did lose that match.”

The final matchup pitted Cassella against a ranked opponent from Northwestern, with a Wildcat win potentially tying or winning the match. Cassella’s key 5-0 decision win allowed the Bearcats to hang on for the win, extending their win streak to five duals while earning their third straight road win.

“[Cassella] did a great job, just totally controlling the entire match,” Borshoff said. “With a lot of pressure in that scenario, [Cassella] doesn’t know what the tie-breaker situation is. He knows if he loses the dual-meet is tied and if he wins we win the dual-meet. He did a really great job of getting it done in the moment when he needed to, it’s what we expect from a guy like [Cassella].”

The Bearcat’s win put their season record at 9-3, with their Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) record sitting at 7-2 as they prepare to take on ninth-ranked Cornell in its final EIWA conference matchup before the EIWA Championships.

“Cornell’s great,” Borshoff said. “They’re a hard team to prepare for because they have a lineup of ranked guys. We’re gonna prepare for it the same way as we’ve prepared for every other match we’ve wrestled and worry about ourselves and not about them. I’m hoping that we can have our best-ever conference finish before widespread changes within the [EIWA] conference next season.”

The Bearcats are set to take on Cornell on Sunday, Feb. 25. First bout is set for 1 p.m. at the Friedman Wrestling Center in Ithaca, New York.