Wisconsin edges Illinois

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin took down Illinois 20-18 in dramatic fashion Sunday afternoon in the UW Field House.

The Badgers also celebrated six seniors — Eric Barnett, Peter Christensen, Isaac Klarkowski, Shane Liegel, Max Maylor and Josh Otto — with their families prior to the dual match in Madison.

The Badgers (9-4, 3-3 B1G) split bout wins 5-5 with the Illini (3-9, 0-6 B1G), but came out on top on the scoreboard. Sunday's victory also marks Chris Bono's 50th win as Wisconsin's head coach a few days shy of his 50th birthday.

No. 4 Eric Barnett got the afternoon started by taking down Justin Cardani in a 8-0 major decision win. Barnett secured two takedowns throughout the match. This marks Barnett's 20th win on the season (20-3 overall).

Joseph Zargo defeated Jake Harrier, winning 19-6 in a major decision win. The UW junior scored six takedowns against his opponent and an escape, including three takedowns in the final stanza to earn the bonus-point victory. Zargo improves to 16-5 on the season.

No. 3 on last week's NCAA list of Most Dominant Wrestlers, Dean Hamiti secured himself yet another bonus-point win as he pinned No. 33 Chris Moore at the 2:48 mark. Hamiti improves to 21-1 overall, including 18 bonus-point wins with eight pins. Prior to turning Moore, Hamiti had scored three takedowns in the first period.

Shane Liegel stayed hot for Wisconsin, defeating No. 31 Dylan Connell in a tightly-contested match. No points were scored until the third period, where Liegel was able to secure an escape and ultimately a 2-0 win with riding time. Liegel is now 18-6 overall.

With only two bouts left, Illinois earned a major decision win at 197 to take a 18-17 lead heading into the heavyweight bout.

The result of the dual match once again fell to redshirt freshman Gannon Rosenfeld, just as it did last Sunday against Purdue where he successfully pinned his opponent for the individual and team victory. Against the Illini, Rosenfeld secured a takedown in each of the three periods, as well as three escapes to defeat Peter Marinopoulos in a 12-6 decision victory to earn his second Big Ten dual victory in as many weeks.

"He's [Rosenfeld] getting better, this was the best week of practice I've ever seen him have," said head coach Chris Bono following the match. "(Associate head coach Jon) Reader locked in on him this week and showed him the potential he could have. Very happy that a young guy like that can go out there with the pressure of a team win and pull it off."

125: #4 Eric Barnett (WIS) over Justin Cardani (ILL) (MD 8-0) | 4-0
133: #30 Anthony Madrigal (ILL) over Nicolar Rivera (WIS) (Dec 11-5) | 4-3
141: #26 Danny Pucino (ILL) over Felix Lettini (WIS) (TF 23-7 6:52) | 4-8
149: #22 Joseph Zargo (WIS) over Jake Harrier (ILL) (MD 19-6) | 8-8
157: Joseph Roberts (ILL) over Luke Mechler (WIS) (SV-1 4-1) | 8-11
165: #5 Dean Hamiti (WIS) over #33 Chris Moore (ILL) (Fall 2:48) | 14-11
174: #8 Edmond Ruth (ILL) over #12 Max Maylor (WIS) (Dec 8-5) | 14-14
184: #16 Shane Liegel (WIS) over #31 Dylan Connell (ILL) (Dec 2-0) | 17-14
197: Isiah Pettigrew (ILL) over Josh Otto (WIS) (MD 12-3) | 17-18
285: Gannon Rosenfeld (WIS) over Peter Marinopoulos (ILL) (Dec 12-6) | 20-18