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No. 2 Penn State Wrestling Defeats No. 3 Ohio State 20- 16 At Bryce Jordan Center

No. 2 Penn State wrestling (11-2, 8-1 Big Ten) pulled out a 20-16 win against No. 3 Ohio State (10-4, 6-3) Big Ten) on Saturday evening in the team’s annual dual at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Both teams won five bouts in front of a sold-out BJC, but major decisions from Vincenzo Joseph and Aaron Brooks and a fall from Mark Hall made the difference as Penn State held off a late comeback by the Buckeyes.

How It Happened

Brandon Meredith kicked off the dual against Malik Heinselman of Ohio State at 125 lbs. After trailing 2-1 in the first period, Meredith escaped to even the score. Entering the last period tied, Heinselman quickly jumped out to a 4-2 advantage. Meredith couldn’t finish on a takedown in the final moments of the match, as Heinselman won 5-3 and Ohio State jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

At 133 lbs., No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young’s three-takedown third period helped him earn a 10-4 win over Ohio State’s Jordan Decatur. It wasn’t easy for Bravo-Young at the start of the the match, as Decatur hung close through a scoreless first period. However, Decatur couldn’t hold off Bravo-Young forever, as Bravo-Young’s strong second and third periods knotted the dual up at 3.

No. 2 Nick Lee defeated No. 1 Luke Pletcher of Ohio State 8-4 with nearly two minutes of riding time in the match’s only one-versus-two matchup of the evening. Pletcher took an early lead with a fast takedown and led 2-1 after the first period. However, a big second period from Lee put him on top 4-3. In that period, he registered a takedown, rideout, and stall point to take control.

In the third period, he tacked on an escape, takedown, and nearly two minutes of riding time to cap off one of the night’s most anticipated matches. His 8-4 win helped the Nittany Lions take a 6-3 lead heading into Jarod Verkleeren’s match against No.1 Sammy Sasso of Ohio State at 149 lbs.

Verkleeren wrestled Sasso tightly throughout the match, even leading by one point heading into the final period. However, Sasso escaped in the early seconds of the third to tie the score. The match entered sudden victory where Sasso took down Verkleeren near the buzzer to erase Penn State’s lead.

At 157 lbs., Brady Berge wrestled Quinn Kinner of Ohio State in only his second match of the season. His last match of the season was December 6 against Lehigh. Despite a strong start to the bout, Berge lost 4-3, sending the Nittany Lions into intermission down 9-6.

In his bout at 165 lbs., No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph erased the team’s deficit by defeating No. 16 Ethan Smith of Ohio State. A few scrambles early on in the match kept it seemingly close. However, after entering the second period tied 3-3, Joseph gained control with a fast escape and a powerful two-leg takedown. Three takedowns for Joseph and a failed Ohio State challenge in the third period made way for Joseph’s 13-5 major decision. The Nittany Lions lead 10-9 heading into the final four matches of the evening.

No. 2 Mark Hall wasted no time showing that he was ready for tonight’s dual in the Bryce Jordan Center. He pinned Ohio State’s No. 7 Kaleb Romero at the :46 mark causing another uproar from the nearly 16,000 people in the seats. Hall’s fall put Penn State up 16-9.

No. 6 Aaron Brooks used a hot first period to help him earn a win over No. 12 Rocky Jordan of Ohio State. Brooks’ three takedowns put him up 6-2 after one period, and he never looked back. He kept his impressive offense rolling the whole way until the end, winning by major decision 14-4.

Penn State entered the final two bouts leading 20-9, but a late comeback by the Buckeyes made things as interesting, as they won the final two bouts. No. 17 Shakur Rasheed wrestled No. 1 Kollin Moore. Down 4-2 after one, Rasheed couldn’t keep Moore from escaping in the early seconds of the second. Moore’s scoring did not stop, as he rolled to a 14-6 major decision over Rasheed.

At 285 lbs., Seth Nevills capped off the dual against Gary Traub of Ohio State. After leading for most of the bout, Nevills lost a 4-3 advantage in the final minute of the match, courtesy of a Traub takedown. With no time to retaliate or escape, Nevills dropped the final match of the evening 5-4. Penn State won the dual 20-16.

What’s Next

Penn State will host American University for its Senior Day at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 23 in Rec Hall to conclude its dual meet schedule.

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About the Author

Jarod Kutz

Jarod Kutz is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in business. Growing up 45 minutes away in Altoona, he knew Penn State was going to be his destination after high school. You can find Jarod watching his favorite sports teams (Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, or Indianapolis Colts ~ don't ask him how), eating Chipotle, or scrolling through social media. Follow @kutz53 on Twitter or shoot him an email at [email protected]

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