No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Wins Last Six Bouts To Beat No. 5 Michigan
No. 1 Penn State wrestling needed to come from behind once again to beat No. 5 Michigan 25-11. The Nittany Lions won the last six bouts to hold off the upset-minded Wolverines at the Bryce Jordan Center in front of more than 15,700 fans.
How It Happened
Fresh off his first Big Ten win, Devin Schnupp hung around with No. 15 Drew Mattin for seven minutes and managed to prevent the Wolverines from scoring bonus points. He dropped a 7-0 decision to Mattin to begin the dual.
Michigan opened up an 8-0 lead over Penn State after No. 1 Stevan Micic beat Scott Stosser with a 20-5 tech fall. Stosser was wrestling in place of No. 15 Roman Bravo-Young, who Cael Sanderson said he was optimistic would compete earlier this week.
The Nittany Lions finally got on the board with a 10-4 win by No. 7 Nick Lee over No. 5 Kanen Storr. In a statement win, Lee got out to an early lead with two takedowns and more than two minutes of riding time in the first period. He ran up the score with three more takedowns down the stretch to secure a key win for the Nittany Lions.
At 149 lbs., Jared Verkleeren made his third straight start ahead of No. 9 Brady Berge but dropped a 7-5 decision to Malik Amine. Verkleeren led Amine 5-3 entering the third period, before Amine escaped, took down Verkleeren, and tacked on a riding time point to steal the comeback win.
With the Nittany Lions trailing 11-3, No. 1 Jason Nolf kicked off a streak of six straight wins for Penn State. Nolf set the tone early, going up on No. 5 Alec Pantaleo 6-0 with a takedown and four near-fall points in the first period before winning 9-2.
Penn State wrestling pulled out three straight gritty wins after intermission ended in order to take a commanding lead over Michigan.
No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph and No. 7 Logan Massa met in a battle of top-ten 165 pounders. After a scoreless first period, Massa escaped to take a 1-0 lead before letting Joseph tie it with a hands-to-the-face call. Joseph jumped ahead 2-1 with an escape to begin the third period but allowed a hands-to-the-face call of his own, making the score 2-2 at the end of regulation.
In sudden victory, Joseph took down Massa to secure the decision. With ten seconds remaining, Joseph shot in on Massa and grappled with him until he managed to bring him down as the clock expired. Joseph’s win cut the Wolverines’ lead to 11-9.
In another top-ten matchup, the 174-lb. bout went down to the final seconds. No. 1 Mark Hall broke a scoreless tie with an escape in the second period to go up 1-0. No. 3 Myles Amine tied it with a escape of his own before Hall notched a clutch takedown in the final minute to take the lead. His 3-2 decision win gave Penn State its first lead of the evening, 12-11.
No. 2 Shakur Rasheed made his return at 184 lbs. to the starting lineup after being sidelined with an injury for the last three duals. Wrestling with a bulky brace on his right knee, Rasheed took a fast 4-1 lead over Jelani Embree in the first period. Embree managed to cut the lead to 4-3 entering the third period, before Rasheed escaped and held off any further upset attempts. His 5-3 decision made the team score 15-11 entering the final two bouts.
No. 1 Bo Nickal took down Jackson Striggow six times to go up 14-4. He eventually pinned Striggow midway through the third period to clinch the dual for Penn State.
The dual ended at 285 lbs. with No. 3 Anthony Cassar facing No 7 Mason Parris. Cassar asserted himself against the rising freshman star by taking him down three times and scoring four near-fall points in the first period to go up 11-4. Cassar added three more takedowns to roll to a 19-8 win.
Penn State returns to action next weekend when the Nittany Lions visit No. 2 Ohio State on Friday, February 8.
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