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Penn State Wrestling: Five Pins Key Nittany Lions' Win at Michigan State

by on January 14, 2018 2:43 PM

Penn State capped off its visit to the Great Lakes State on Sunday afternoon with a commanding 48-3 win over Michigan State at Jenison Fieldhouse, after defeating Michigan,  25-12, on Friday nightAfter 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, taking down the Spartan redshirt freshman four times and racking 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 Lee, 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 he made a statement, winning with a 16-1 technical fall.

The Nittany Lion freshman 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 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 lb. 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 throttling continued at 184 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 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 have ve been our wrestler of the dual on Friday evening for wrestling well in his first varsity win, but his dominant technical fall win against a ranked wrestler cemented what Nittany Lions 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.

What’s Next

Penn State returns home for its first home dual of 2018 when it faces Purdue on Friday at 7 p.m.


Anthony Colucci is a writer for Onward State
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