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
Getting ready for Penn State wrestling vs. Rutgers at The RAC. pic.twitter.com/OubUrudZXu
— Travis Johnson (@bytravisjohnson) January 17, 2015
Do you see that? Those are all the Rutgers fans that went home unhappy.
- 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.
Penn State returns to Rec Hall this weekend to host Purdue on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m.