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No. 7 Wrestling Beats No. 25 Rutgers in Front of Record Crowd

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Penn State travels to Piscataway, the home fans get excited and buy a bunch of tickets, and then watch the Nittany Lions beat their beloved Scarlet Knights on their own turf.

It happened in football, and it happened again last night as No. 7 Penn State (7-1, 3-1 B1G) wrestling dominated No. 25 Rutgers (9-4, 0-4 B1G) in Piscataway, N.J., trouncing the Scarlet Knights 28-6 to bounce back from a tough loss to Ohio State and improve to 7-1 on the season. Despite 6,071 fans packing the The RAC, setting a wrestling home record, the Nittany Lions cruised to an easy victory on Friday night, winning eight of ten bouts.

How It Happened

Jordan Conaway, ranked No. 8 at 125, opened up the festivities with an impressive 10-2 major over Rutgers’ Sean McCabe to give Penn State an early lead. Sophomore Jimmy Gulibon, ranked No. 7 at 133, furthered Penn State’s lead with a major of his own, dominating Scott DelVecchio on his way to a 12-2 major with 3:53 in riding time.

At 141, red-shirt freshman Kade Moss fought a close battle with Rutger’s top-ranked grappler No. 7 Anthony Ashnault, and nearly pulled off an early upset, taking Ashnault to the wire with a 5-4 lead heading into the final twenty seconds. Ashnault recorded a late takedown to post a 6-4 win, cutting Penn State’s lead to 8-3.

Sophomore Zack Beitz, ranked No. 17 at 149, suffered a 5-2 upset loss to Rutgers junior Ken Theobold to allow the Scarlet Knights within two points of the lead, but senior Dylan Alton, ranked No. 7 at 157, put any chance of a comeback to bed with a dominating 11-3 major over Dylan Painton. Alton ended the bout with a ridiculous 5:24 in riding time, giving Penn State a 12-6 advantage heading into intermission.

Following an impressive performance against undefeated No. 6 Bo Jordan of Ohio State on Monday, red-shirt freshman Garett Hammond widened Penn State’s lead with the Lions’ fourth major of the dual, a 13-4 victory over Nick Visicaro to put Penn State up 16-6. In typical fashion, senior Matt Brown, ranked No. 4 at 174, disposed of No. 20 Phillip Bakuckas with a dominating 7-1 win.

Penn State’s second red-shirt freshman Matt McCutcheon, ranked No. 16 at 184, mercifully clinched the dual meet with a 10-4 victory over Anthony Pafumi, nearly pinning the Scarlet Knight near the end of the first period. Junior Morgan McIntosh, ranked No. 6 at 197, dispatched Andrew Campollatano 8-2 to put Penn State up 25-6, and in the dual’s final bout, senior Jon Gingrich put on a show for the traveling Lions’ faithful with a sudden victory win over Billy Smith, ranked No. 13 at 285. Gingrich scored just seconds into extra time with a takedown, posting the 5-3 (sv) win, and giving Penn State a 28-6 win.

Man of the Match

Jon Gingrich. Alongside Jimmy Lawson, one of Penn State’s two strong heavyweights put together a thrilling performance to earn his 12th win of the season. Gingrich needed a takedown in sudden victory to claim the win, but it was a solid performance for the unranked senior as he pulled off the upset over the 13th-ranked heavyweight in the country.

Tweet of the Match

Do you see that? Those are all the Rutgers fans that went home unhappy.

Match Notes

  • The dominating performance is reflected in the stats, as the Lions won the takedown battle 22-6
  • Penn State’s red-shirt freshmen Matt McCutcheon (18) and Garret Hammond (17) own the two highest win totals on the team this season.
  • With his 7-1 victory, Matt Brown maintains a slim lead over Jimmy Gulibon (39) with 41 total dual points accrued so far this season.
  • In the three previous matches against Rutgets, Penn State is a perfect 3-0 with a combined winning margin of 74-27.

What’s Next?

Penn State returns to Rec Hall this weekend to host Purdue on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m.

Photo: GoPSUsports

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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