A Win Over Maryland and the Big Ten Regular Season Title
Fans piled in to Rec Hall to make the Lions’ final home meet of the season and Senior Day, the most attended match of the year.
The Lions had five straight pins from the 149-184 matchups. Freshman No. 2 Nick Suriano had a tech fall to begin the dual. Freshman Triston Law started at 133 instead of George Carpenter. Law got caught in a high double shot, which turned into a scramble, and his Maryland opponent got the pin. The only starting senior, No. 11 Jimmy Gulibon won is final match wrestled in Rec Hall, 9-4.
The five-straight pins consisted of Retherford’s 13th fall of the season, Nolf’s 11th, Joseph’s first, Hall’s 11th and Nickal’s 12th. GoPSUSports referred to the back-to-back pins as a “pin parade.” The fans loved it.
Junior No. 9 Matt McCutcheon broke the cycle, but put up the closest and most exciting bout of the day. McCutcheon went on the offense from the get-go and forced opponent, David-Brian Whisler, to a stall warning. Whisler notched the first takedown with :20 left in the first and McCutcheon escaped. McCutcheon chose down to start the second and he was down 2-1. He quickly escaped to tie it up. He closed in on a high single, but scrambled out of bounds, hitting the score table and forced the reset. The rest of the second was scoreless and Whisler started down in the third. McCutcheon held control on top, working his way to :48 in riding time before a dangerous hold forced a reset. He was able to barely clock in the riding time before giving up the escape and Whisler took the lead, 3-2. McCutcheon came back with a low single to take the 4-3 lead. He rode out Whisler for the final :30 and won the bout 5-3.
Next up Penn State starts the championship tournament play. They will head to Oklahoma on Sunday, February 19 for the NWCA Dual Series Title Matchup against No. 2 Oklahoma State. It is one of eight matchups featured in the series next weekend.
This is the second year in a row that these two teams battle in the NWCA series. Last year, Penn State won it in at Rec Hall. Oklahoma State is 14-0 and 6-0 in the Big 12. This is by far the toughest matchup Penn State will face this season and will be a good preview of what is to come at the NCAAs.
The match starts at 4 p.m. It will not be televised, but fans can listen online at www.gopsusports.com for a free, live radio broadcast. A taping of the match will be aired on Fox College Sports at a later date.
BOUT BY BOUT:
125: PSU#2 Nick Suriano tech fall MD Michael Beck, 23-8 (TF; 6:41)
133: MD Billy Rappo pinned PSU Triston Law, WBF (4:45)
141: PSU #11 Jimmy Gulibon dec. MD Ryan Diehl, 9-4
149: PSU #1 Zain Retherford pinned MD Adam Whitesell, WBF (3:17)
157: PSU #1 Jason Nolf pinned MD Justin Alexander, WBF (1:27)
165: PSU #4 Vincenzo Joseph pinned MD Patrick Gerish, WBF (3:58)
174: PSU #7 Mark Hall pinned MD Josh Ugalde, WBF (1:14)
184: PSU #2 Bo Nickal pinned MD Idris White, WBF (2:08)
197: PSU #9 Matt McCutcheon dec. MD David-Brian Whisler, 5-3
285: PSU #3 Nick Nevills maj. dec. MD Youssif Hemida, 10-1