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Penn State Wrestling Falls To Iowa In The Bryce Jordan Center

The Penn State wrestling team fought valiantly against powerhouse Iowa on Sunday in the Bryce Jordan Center, but ultimately fell to the top-ranked Hawkeyes, 18-12. The Bryce Jordan Center’s capacity crowd of 15,967 gave this already huge match an even greater sense of importance.

How It Happened

Iowa went up early when Thomas Gilman edged out a 6-5 decision over Penn State’s Jordan Conaway at 125 pounds. Penn State evened the score at 3-3 in the next bout when Jimmy Gulibon set the building on fire, stealing the bout at 133 pound with a huge takedown in the third round. “It was awesome,” Gulibon noted when asked about the crowd’s raucous reaction to his win.

Iowa won decisions in the next three bouts to go up 12-3 and put the Nittany Lions in a hole. While things looked bleak, Penn State battled back. Redshirt freshman Garett Hammond pulled off the upset of No. 7 ranked Nick Moore at 165 pounds. Hammond pulled off a late slam takedown in the third period to take the win.

“I was just focused on finishing hard,” Hammond said after the match. “I like that big environment; it gives you that extra push.”

In the very next bout, No. 3 Matt Brown faced Pennsylvania native and No. 2 Mike Evans at 174 pounds. This served as the most highly-anticipated bout of the match and the crowd welcomed Brown with a standing ovation while harshly booing Evans. Despite some bizarre tactics from Evans, who seemed content to move and clinch from the outside, Brown was able to grind out a 2-0 decision. The crowd roared continuously for two minutes as Brown rode out the third period for the victory.

Iowa’s Sammy Brooks controlled PSU’s Matt McCutcheon to put Iowa back up 6 points going into the final two bouts. Needing a win to keep his team alive, Penn State’s lauded 197 pound wrestler Morgan McIntosh dominated Iowa’s Nathan Burak for a 7-1 decision.

Fittingly, the match would come to its final bout, as heavyweight Jimmy Lawson stepped up against Iowa’s heavyweight beast No. 1 Bobby Telford. Ultimately, Lawson and the Lions fell short, as he dropped a 3-0 decision to Telford.

“(Lawson) got ridden for two minutes and that was the match,” noted head coach Cael Sanderson. “He’s got the ability to score points. He’s got to find the confidence to pull that trigger.”

Lawson’s loss set the final score at Iowa 18, Penn State 12. Penn State dropped to 10-3 and 6-3 in the B1G while Iowa surged ahead to 12-0 and 7-0 in the B1G.

Despite the loss, there were positives to find in the highly-competitive match. Penn State saw members of its team step up in big ways and the atmosphere proved as electric as the university hoped. “Our guys did well and I think we are right there,” Sanderson stated when asked about his team’s performance overall.

Man of the Match

Matt Brown. The two-time All-American and NCAA finalist defeated No. 2 Mike Evans, handing the Hawkeye his first loss of the season. Brown rode out Evans for the entire third period the secure the victory, pulling Penn State withing three, 12-9, with four bouts to go.

Match Notes

  • The attendance total of 15,967 is the second highest in NCAA history, just 29 shy of the national record of 15,996, set last year in the Bryce Jordan Center when Penn State defeated Pittsburgh on Dec. 8. It was Penn State’s 25th-straight home sell-out.
  • The dual meet featured 17 ranked wrestlers and four All-Americans.
  • The series Iowa-Penn State series now stands at 3-3 under head coach Cael Sanderson. Iowa leads the all-time series with Penn State 27-8-2.

Quote(s) of the Match

Final Results

125: #5 Thomas Gilman IOWA dec. #8 Jordan Conaway PSU, 6-5 / 0-3
133: #7 Jimmy Gulibon PSU dec. #3 Cory Clark IOWA, 8-5 / 3-3
141: #6 Josh Dziewa IOWA dec. Kade Moss PSU, 9-4 / 3-6
149: #2 Brandon Sorensen IOWA dec. #18 Zack Beitz PSU, 6-4 / 3-9
157: #15 Michael Kelly IOWA dec. Luke Frey PSU, 7-4 / 3-12
165: Garett Hammond PSU dec. #7 Nick Moore IOWA, 4-2 / 6-12
174: #3 Matt Brown PSU dec. #2 Mike Evans IOWA, 2-0 / 9-12
184: #8 Sammy Brooks dec. #17 Matt McCutcheon PSU, 7-1 / 9-15
197: #4 Morgan McIntosh PSU dec. #6 Nathan Burak IOWA, 7-1 / 12-15
285: #2 Bobby Telford IOWA dec. #6 Jimmy Lawson PSU, 3-0 / 12-18

What’s Next?

Penn State will leave the friendly confines of University Park for a dual meet against No. 9 Oklahoma State on Sunday, Feb. 15. set for 2 p.m.

About the Author

Mike Bacior

I'm Mike Bacior. I major in Economics at PSU. I obsess over many things including mixed martial arts, the Philadelphia Eagles, and Taylor Swift. Find me on Twitter @MikeBacior or shoot me an email [email protected]


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