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Penn State Wrestling: Nittany Lions Defeat Iowa in Front of Record Crowd at Bryce Jordan Center

by on February 10, 2018 10:53 PM

No. 1 Penn State battled back and forth with No. 7 Iowa through the first six bouts of the dual but shut down the Hawkeyes’ upset attempt with four impressive wins Saturday evening in front of a sold out Bryce Jordan Center.

The crowd of 15,998 set records for the largest NCAA indoor attendance and the largest non-Beaver Stadium attendance for an athletic event at Penn State. With the defeat of the Hawkeyes, the Nittany Lions extended their program-record dual meet winning streak to 44.

How It Happened

Penn State fell behind 6-0, when No. 3 Spencer Lee pinned Carson Kuhn in the first period of the 125-pound bout. Lee took Kuhn down midway through the first period and rode him for over a minute before getting the fall.

Corey Keener put the Nittany Lions on the board with a 5-2 win over Paul Glynn at 133. Keener opened up an early 4-1 lead with two first period takedowns, which were enough to hold of the Iowa sophomore.

No. 7 Nick Lee tied the team score 6-6 with an 11-8 decision win over Vince Turk. Late in the third period, Lee took down Turk to make it 11-5 with over a minute of riding left and cut him loose, looking for a major. The decision backfired, as Turk ended up taking Lee down and riding him out for the last few seconds, negating the riding time and limiting the true freshman to a decision.

No. 1  Zain Retherford beat No. 2 Brandon Sorensen convincingly with a 6-2 decision at 157. The Nittany Lion senior wracked up more than three minutes of riding time in the win.

With the win, Retherford continued his three-year run of tormenting Sorensen. Retherford is 5-0 against Sorensen, including a fall in the 2017 NCAA Championships and a major decision in the finals of the 2016 NCAA Championships. Five of Sorensen’s 13 career losses have come at the hands of Retherford.

No. 2 Michael Kemerer needed to win big at 157 pounds for the Hawkeyes, but Bo Pipher held him to a 14-4 major decision that sent the Nittany Lions into halftime down 10-9.

When wrestling resumed at 165 pounds, No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph met No. 7 Alex Marinelli, one of four top-10 match-ups. Joseph took a 5-2 lead into the third period but got tangled up in the neutral position, as Marinelli took him down and had him on his back. The four near fall points Marinelli scored put him ahead of Joseph, 9-5, a lead he would hold onto, en route to a 9-6 decision.

Marinelli’s upset put Iowa up 13-9. But that would be all the Hawkeyes would be able to do Saturday night.

No. 2 Mark Hall reversed the dual’s momentum and gave the Nittany Lions their first lead of the evening with a first period fall over Joseph Gunther at the 1:00 mark in the 174 pound bout. No. 1 Bo Nickal blew open the score with a first period fall of his own over Mitchell Bowman at the :50 mark.

In one minute and 10 seconds of wrestling, Penn State turned a 13-9 deficit into a 21-13 lead.

At 197, Shakur Rasheed got the start against No. 7 Cash Wilcke. Rasheed took Wilcke down four times and accumulated nearly four minutes of riding time as he won an 11-2 major decision.

The evening ended at heavyweight between No. 3 Sam Stoll and No. 6 Nick Nevills. Nevills, who was 2-7 against top-five opponents heading into Saturday, made a statement with a comeback, 3-2 win over Stoll. Stoll led 1-0 heading into the third period, but an escape and takedown from Nevills gave him the lead and sent the Bryce Jordan Center into a frenzy.

Wrestler of the Dual

Nick Nevills, Junior, 285 lbs.

Although the dual win had been clinched before he even stepped onto the mat, Nevills pulled out a hard-fought decision against a top-five opponent a week after keeping up with No. 1 Kyle Snyder. With a recent string of well-wrestled matches, Nevills appears to be finding his stride at the best possible time, as the postseason quickly approaches.

What’s Next

Penn State will close out the regular season with a dual against Buffalo on Feb. 18 at Rec Hall.


Anthony Colucci is a writer for Onward State
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