NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – In its first EIWA dual match of the season, the Columbia wrestling team rallied from a 12-3 deficit to take a 15-12 lead with just one bout remaining, but a fall by Rutgers heavyweight, No. 19 Billy Smith, gave the Scarlet Knights an 18-15 win Friday evening at the College Ave. Gym.

The Scarlet Knights raced out to a 12-0 advantage on the Lions, capturing decisions in each of the first four bouts. First-year Markus Scheidel got Columbia on the board with an 11-8 decision in the 157-pound bout. Scheidel used two takedowns and an escape to open a 6-2 lead in the first period and then held off Corey Stasenko for the victory.

Senior Josh Houldsworth made it two victories in a row for the Lions, coming away with an 11-4 decision against Nick Visicaro in the 165-pound bout. Houldworth took down Visicaro three times in the opening two rounds, and then twice more in the third period to complete his 14th win of the season.

Shane Hughes held a late 6-0 lead on Phil Bakuckas in the 174-pound bout, and nearly held on for the shutout, but allowed a late reversal to record a 6-2 decision, bringing the team score to 12-9.

The 184-pound bout was a closely contested affair between Columbia’s Zack Hernandez and Rutger’s Dan Seidenberg. Hernandez notched a take down in the first period, for the bout’s only scoring until the final 30 seconds when he was called for stalling. Hernandez though, added the riding time point and came away with the 3-1 decision, knotting the match at 12-12.

An exciting finish in the 197-pound bout put the Lions ahead for the first time Friday, when Matt Idelson scored a reversal with just four seconds remaining in the third period for the 4-3 victory against Hayden Hrymack.

Columbia carried a 15-12 advantage into the final bout of the night at heavyweight, but Smith was able to pin Wyatt Baker in 1:20 to swing the match back in favor of Rutgers, 18-15.

The Lions will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 10 when it hosts Binghamton in the University (Blue) Gym in its first of five home matches at 7 p.m.