Penn State Wrestling Decimates Michigan State 48-3
No. 1 Penn State capped off its visit to the Great Lakes State Sunday afternoon with a commanding 48-3 beatdown of Michigan State at Jenison Fieldhouse, after routing 25-12 Michigan Friday night. After falling behind 3-0, the Nittany Lions wasted no time in finding their stride. They rattled off nine consecutive bonus point wins, including five pins and two technical falls.
How It Happened
Another dual, another early deficit for the Nittany Lions. Penn State fell behind Michigan State 3-0 after redshirt freshman Devin Schnupp dropped a 6-2 decision to Spartan true freshman Rayvon Foley. Schnupp fell to 1-11 on the season, but Sunday’s loss marked his ninth loss by decision. Those nine losses have been decided by a combined 30 points (3.3 points per bout) as Schnupp continues to find his way as an undersized, young 125-pounder.
Corey Keener scored Penn State’s first points of the afternoon when he picked up a much needed win, after losing three of his last five bouts. He majored Matt Santos 12-2 after taking down the Spartan redshirt freshman four times and wracking up more than three minutes of riding time.
When true freshman Nick Lee took the mat, Penn State led Michigan State 4-3. When the 1-2-3 punch of him, No. 1 Zain Retherford, and No. 1 Jason Nolf finished its work, the Nittany Lions were ahead 21-3 at the intermission.
Lee faced his first major dual test against the Spartans’ only ranked wrestler, No. 20 Javier Gasca. And, boy, did he make a statement, winning with a 16-1 technical fall.
Lee jumped out to an early 4-1 lead but picked up four near fall points to end the first period, giving him a commanding 8-1 lead. After beginning the second period on the bottom, Lee reversed Vasca, rode him out for the remainder of the period to extend his riding time advantage to more than one minute, and scored another four near fall points. A takedown to begin the third period gave Lee the technical fall win.
Retherford tacked on six points to the Nittany Lions’ team total when he pinned Juwan Britton in the second period, after coming close multiple times in the first four minutes. Retherford’s fall was his NCAA-best 13th of the season and 49th of his career, as he puts the finishing touches on his dazzling college career and makes the case for his second Hodge Trophy. Speaking of bolstering Hodge Trophy campaigns, Nolf pinned Jake Tucker at the 3:27 mark to tie Retherford for the most falls this season. The 157 lb. bout began with Nolf trailing 2-0 after surrendering a takedown in the opening seconds. Following the takedown, Nolf opened up a 17-8 lead before putting Tucker on his back in the second period.
After the intermission, No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph took the mat against Austin Hiles with the Nittany Lions leading the Spartans 21-3. Joseph gave Penn State its third straight fall when he pinned Hiles in the closing seconds of the first period.
The 174 lbs. bout was the sixth straight bonus points win for the Nittany Lions when No. 2 Mark Hall beat Logan Ritchie with a 17-4 technical fall in the third period to extend the Penn State advantage to 32-3. The butchery continued at 184 lbs. when No. 1 Bo Nickal made short work of Shwan Shadaia, pinning him at the 2:02 mark.
Anthony Cassar got the nod at 197 lbs. against Nick May and like Shakur Rasheed on Friday, made a strong case to hold onto the position. He majored May 16-3 after nearly pinning him in the third period. No. 8 Nick Nevills concluded the dual against Matt Lloyd with a third period fall, the Nittany Lions’ fifth of the afternoon.
Wrestler of the Dual
Nick Lee, Freshman, 141 lbs.
Lee may’ve been our wrestler of the dual on Friday evening for wrestling well in his first varsity win, but his utterly dominant technical fall win against a ranked wrestler cemented what Nittany Lion fans can look forward to this March and for the next four seasons. The Penn State Murderers’ Row from 149 lbs. through 184 lbs., now starts at 141 lbs.
Penn State now returns home for its first home dual of 2018 when it faces Purdue Friday January 19 at 7 p.m.