No. 2 Penn State Wrestling Escapes Piscataway With 25-15 Win Over No. 12 Rutgers
No. 2 Penn State was pushed to the limits against No. 12 Rutgers but escaped with a 25-15 win. The Nittany Lions battled back from an early 9-0 deficit and had to injury default what would’ve been a win but managed to pull out a tight dual victory after winning the last five bouts.
How It Happened
Penn State fell behind 9-0 after dropping its first two bouts to two of the Scarlet Knights’ ranked wrestlers.
Devin Schnupp made it through the first 6:41 of his bout with former Penn State freshman standout No. 1 Nick Suriano and posed a strong fight before being pinned late in the third period while trailing 19-7. Corey Keener then dropped a tight 6-2 decision to No. 15 Scott Delvecchio at 133 lbs. to put the Scarlet Knights up 9-0.
No. 8 Nick Lee got the Nittany Lions on the board with a 5-2 decision win over Michael Van Brill that cut the deficit to 9-3. He jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first period and held on through the remainder of the bout
No. 1 Zain Retherford wrestled a seven-minute match for just the second time this season and fourth time during the last two seasons. He majored No. 13 Eleazar DeLuca 14-2 to cut further into the Scarlet Knights’ lead, 9-7.
The 157 lb. bout began with No. 17 John Van Brill of Rutgers taking down No. 1 Jason Nolf. After Nolf retook the lead, he injured his knee, which was stuck underneath Van Brill later in the period. Nolf was unable to return and took an injury default loss, sending the Nittany Lions into halftime trailing 15-7.
The deficit grew to nine points when Penn State was charged with an unsportsmanlike conduct call while disputing the call.
When wresting resumed at 165 lbs., No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph narrowly escaped his bout with No. 11 Richie Lewis with a 5-4 win. Joseph led Lewis 5-3 in the third period and a stall point against him cut his lead to one point. Joseph dodged a decisive takedown by Lewis for the last seconds of the third period.
No. 2 Mark Hall gave Penn State a much-needed boost with a 24-9 technical fall over Joe Grello to make the score 15-14 with three bouts to go. No. 1 Bo Nickal pulled out a tight, 6-5 win over No. 12 Nicholas Gravina at 184 lbs. to give the Nittany Lions their first lead of the day. Nickal led 6-3 after one period before fending off a late comeback attempt by Gravina.
In his return to his home state, Anthony Cassar got the start at 197 lbs. against Anthony Messner. He opened up an early 4-1 lead with well over a minute of riding time after the first period. He never looked back from there, winning 16-5 to extend the Nittany Lions’ lead to 21-15.
No. 8 Nick Nevills secured the comeback dual win with a 21-7 win over Ralph Normandia.
Wrestler of the Dual
Mark Hall, 174 lbs., Sophomore
Hall’s technical fall cut the team score to 15-14 and was a much-needed momentum boost for the Nittany Lions, who had struggled all afternoon to score bonus points before his bout.
The Nittany Lions return home for the season’s most anticipated dual against No. 1 Ohio State Saturday night.