A Not-So-Fairytale Ending

A Not-So-Fairytale Ending

This was it. The match we had all been waiting for. The BJC sold out, the student section got to sit on chairs instead of the floor and each Penn State wrestler emerged from a cloud of smoke as they jogged to the mats. It sounds a bit dramatic but very appropriate as No. 5 Penn State faced Big Ten rival No.1 Iowa.

Well, as much as it hurts to say, the Nittany Lions lost 18-12 to the Hawkeyes and fell in six out of ten bouts. Penn State was only favored in one out of the ten bouts, so each of the four wins sent fans to their feet. Neither team scored bonus point wins and total team takedowns were tied at 8-8 to make for one of Penn State’s closest matches of the season.

No. 8 junior Jordan Conaway started off the match with a tough 5-6 loss due to riding time. No. 7 sophomore Jimmy Gulibon brought the momentum right back to Penn State with a huge last minute win over Iowa’s No. 3 Cory Clark.

Time was running low as Gulibon trailed Clark 3-4, in addition to Clark’s riding point, when Gulibon grabbed hold of his leg. With ten seconds left, Gulibon fought for a better grip on Clark’s leg then threw him to his back for a takedown and two near fall points at the edge of the mat. Gulibon nonchalantly walked to the center of the mat to have his hand raised as the BJC went ballistic. The team score was tied 3-3.

The Lions started to fall behind again with two straight losses at 149 lbs. and 157 lbs. The crowd was pleased to see junior Luke Frey make a season debut at 157 after his season got cut short last year due to injury. He shot quick from the start but couldn’t pull through with a win.

Things weren’t looking too good for Penn State going into the 165 lbs. match down 3-12. Garret Hammond kept the score tight with No. 7 Hawkeye Nick Moore. After a scoreless first period, Moore scored a takedown in the second and Hammond returned with two escapes to tie the bout 2-2 heading into the third. With twenty seconds left, Hammond connected with a high single, lifted Moore off the ground and slammed him to the mat for a final takedown. The 4-2 win sent Hammond high-fiving through the student section on his way off the mats.

A much-anticipated 174 lbs. match between No. 3 Matt Brown and No. 2 Mike Evans ended up being a bit of a boring match. Brown got the 2-0 win with an escape and riding time point. Both Evans and Brown failed to finish any shots, but Penn State would take what they could get.

To fans’ disappointment, the final four matches went back and forth. No. 17 Matt McCutcheon fell to a pretty big 1-7 loss at 184 lbs. followed by No. 4 Morgan McIntosh’s 7-1 win at 194 lbs. McIntosh wrestled with big plans for bonus points but failed to finish his final shots and ended up with a decision.

It all came down to the heavyweights. Iowa’s No. 2 Bobby Telford notched an escape, riding time and one stalling point to finish the job for Iowa with a 3-0 over No. 6 Jimmy Lawson.


125: IOWA #5 Thomas Gilman dec. PSU #8 Jordan Conaway, 6-5

133: PSU #7 Jimmy Gulibon dec. IOWA #3 Cory Clark, 8-5

141: IOWA #6 Josh Dziewa dec. PSU Kade Moss, 9-4

149: IOWA #2 Brandon Sorensen dec. PSU #18 Zack Beitz, 6-4

157: IOWA #15 Michael Kelly dec. PSU Luke Frey, 7-4

165: PSU Garett Hammond dec. IOWA #7 Nick Moore, 4-2

174: PSU #3 Matt Brown dec. IOWA #2 Mike Evans, 2-0

184: IOWA #8 Sammy Brooks dec. PSU #17 Matt McCutcheon, 7-1

197: PSU #4 Morgan McIntosh dec. IOWA #6 Nathan Burak, 7-1

285: IOWA #2 Bobby Telford IOWA dec. PSU #6 Jimmy Lawson, 3-0

Despite the individual rankings, Penn State has proven it is a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten. The team record now stands at 10-3, 6-3 in the conference. Next Sunday February 15, the Nittany Lions head to Oklahoma to face No. 7 Oklahoma State.

(All statistics courtesy of www.gopsusports.com)