Nittany Lions Dispatch #15 Pitt 31-7 for Road Dual Victory
Feb. 8, 2013
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team took care of No. 15 Pitt in front of sold out Fitzgerald Fieldhouse in Pittsburgh. Head coach Cael Sanderson's Lions, ranked No. 1 in Intermat's Tournament Power Index, won all but two bouts and rolled to the 31-7 win. Senior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) picked up the dual's signature win with a pin at 197.
Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 nationally at 125, received a forfeit to start the match for Penn State, with nearly 200 of his hometown fans in attendance. Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) continued his outstanding season, taking No. 16 Shelton Mack to sudden victory and grabbing the 5-3 win. Conaway has now beaten three wrestlers ranked in the top 16, including two top tens. With senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) getting the evening off, senior Derek Reber (Lewisburg, Pa.) stepped into action for Penn State. Panther Travis Shaffer was able to defeat Reber 14-2, cutting Penn State's lead to 9-4 with the major.
Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 7 at 149, posted a strong 14-7 win over Pitt's Ronnie Garbinsky, tallying five takedowns in the win. Brother Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 157, notched a strong 7-3 win over Panther Donnie Tasser, putting Penn State up 15-4 at the midway point. Junior All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked no. 2 at 165, then rolled through No. 17 Tyler Wilps to the tune of a 20-6 major decision with 3:36 in riding time.
Nittany Lion Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 5 at 174, was strong once again in a 10-4 win over Panther P.J. Tasser to put Penn State up 22-4. Junior All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, stayed unbeaten on the year with a 17-3 dismantling of No. 13 Max Thomusseit. The major gave Penn State a 26-4 lead.
Senior All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 197, then thrilled a great crowd of Penn State faithful in the Panthers' house by pinning No. 2 Matt Wilps. A quick scramble at the end of the first period allowed Wright to gain control of the Panther and stay unbeaten on the year with the pin at the 2:43 mark. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) battled No. 8 Zac Thomusseit tough at heavyweight before dropping a tough 5-4 decision. The Lions then lost a team point for thrown head gear as the Lion left the mat frustrated.
In winning eight of ten bouts, Penn State posted a lop-sided 27-4 takedown advantage. Taylor led the way with six while Ruth and Andrew Alton each had five. Penn State improves to 10-1 on the year while Pitt falls to 8-5.
Penn State will wrap up a rugged four-dual road swing against ranked opponents when it visits Ohio State on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 4 p.m. Penn State's only remaining home dual meet is Sunday, Feb. 17, when Rider visits Rec Hall. The dual is sold out but a limited number of SRO tickets may be available. For availability, fans can call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office windows from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
133: Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) battled No. 16 Shelton Mack of Pittsburgh at 133. The duo battled through two minutes of scoreless action in the middle of the mat. Each wrestler took slight shots over the final minute but no on broke through and the bout moved into the second period as a scoreless tie. Conaway chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Leading 1-0, Conaway began to pressure the Panther, forcing Mack backwards to the outer circle and into a first stall warning. Mack got in on a single leg at the end of the period and turned it into a 2-1 lead at the buzzer, getting the takedown. Leading 2-1, Mack chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Conaway proceeded to press the ranked Panther, forcing him to the out of bounds circle and picking up a stall point at the :58 mark to trail 3-2. Mack quickly picked up another stall and Conaway tied the bout 3-3. Conaway continued his pressure and Mack continued backing up and the bout went to a sudden victory period. Conaway, true to form, scrambled around for a bout winning takedown with just :25 left and posted the thrilling 5-3 (sv) win.
141: Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) got the evening off, allowing Penn State to send senior Derek Reber (Lewisburg, Pa.) into action against Pitt's Travis Shaffer at 141. Reber scored quickly, taking Shaffer down and early taking the Panther to his back. But Shaffer was able to counter the move and worked his way into a reversal to tie the bout 2-2. Shaffer then controlled Reber from the top, turning the Lion for three back points and 5-2 lead at the 1:10 mark. He added a second three point turn and led 8-2 after one. Reber chose neutral to start the second period but was quickly reversed. Shaffer then rode the Lion out and led 10-2 with a clinched riding time point (3:40) after two. Shaffer chose down to start the third period and reversed Shaffer once again. He then picked up a stall point and led 13-2 with :30 left on the clock. The ride out and bonus point gave Shaffer the 14-2 major decision.
149: Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 7 at 149, met Panther freshman Ronnie Garbinsky. Alton scored quickly, taking Garbinsky down to a 2-1 lead after a quick Panther escape. The Lion sophomore then countered a Garbinsky shot for a second takedown and a 4-1 lead at the 1:45 mark. Alton then put together a strong ride, maintaining control until the 1:15 mark to build up :54 in riding time. After the Garbinsky escape, Alton continued to work to set up his offense. After a Garbinsky counter, Alton worked down for a low double and a third takedown to lead 6-2. Garbinsky managed another escape but Alton was undeterred, diving through a low double to add a fourth takedown to lead 8-3 after one period. Garbinsky chose down to start the second but Alton was strong in control. Alton built up nearly 3:00 of riding time. Each wrestler was warned once for stalling during the process. Garbinsky escaped to an 8-4 lead with :32 on the clock and Alton quickly used a low double as the period ended to lead 10-4 with 3:02 in time after two. Alton chose down to start the third and steadily worked his way to a reversal and a 12-4 lead. With the bonus point clinched, Alton picked up a stall point and then cut Garbinsky loose with :29 left. Alton shot low on Garbinsky but the Panther countered for his own takedown, preventing the major. Alton's 14-7 decision put Penn State up 12-4.
157: All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 nationally at 157, battled veteran Pitt senior Donnie Tasser. Alton hit the scoreboard first with a strong high double and led 2-1 after a quick escape. With Alton leading 2-1, action continued in the middle of the mat. Tasser was able to fight off another Alton double and keep the bout close with :20 left in the opening stanza. Trailing by one, Tasser chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. Alton worked his way behind Tasser and took the Panther down to the mat quickly for another takedown and a 4-3 lead after the Panther escaped at the 1:30 mark. The Nittany Lion sophomore worked for a high single with less than a minute left, but Tasser's solid defense kept him from connecting and Alton led 4-3 after two periods. The Lion chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 5-3 lead. The duo traded shots over the course of the next minute-plus with Alton picking up a first stall warning with :33 left in the bout. Alton blew through a double leg with :15 on the clock and iced the bout with another takedown. A short ride out gave the Lion a strong 7-3 win.
165: Two-time All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, took to the mat against No. 17 Tyler Wilps. Taylor and Wilps battled evenly for over a minute before Taylor used a low single for the opening takedown with 1:35 on the clock. Wilps escaped after a :35 Taylor ride, only to get taken down again by Taylor. The defending national champion turned Wilps for three back points during a strong ride out and led 7-1 after one period. Wilps chose down to start the second period and Taylor let him loose in order to go on offense once again. A swift duck-under led to another Taylor takedown and a 9-2 lead with 1:25 on the clock. Taylor cut Wilps loose and quickly took him down again to lead 11-3 with :48 on the clock. Taylor forced Wilps into a stall warning in another ride out. Leading 11-3 with a clinched riding time point (3:01), Taylor chose down to start the third and reversed Wilps to lead 13-3. Another cut by Taylor allowed the Lion to zip through another takedown and a 15-4 lead with 1:14 on the clock. Taylor added a stall point and a takedown to lead 18-6 with a clinched bonus point. Taylor got another stall point and rolled to a 20-6 major with 3:36 in riding time.
174: Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 5 at 174, faced off against Panther P.J. Tasser. Brown set the tempo early, taking a 2-0 lead at the 1:00 mark after a short scramble off a low double. Tasser escaped to a 2-1 score but Brown extended his lead to 4-1 with a takedown at the :10 mark. A short ride out gave the Lion a 4-1 lead after one period and Tasser chose down to start the middle stanza. The Panther scrambled his way to an escaped and a 4-2 Brown lead with 1:35 on the clock. Brown used a head-inside single to work towards his third takedown and a 6-3 lead after a quick Tasser escape. Leading by three, Brown chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 7-3 lead. The Lion sophomore continued to attack and picked up a fourth takedown with :30 left. Looking for a major, Brown cut Tasser loose but could not beat the clock for another takedown and won 10-4 with 1:04 in riding time.
184: Two-time All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, tangled with No. 13 Max Thomusseit of Pittsburgh. Ruth wasted no time, using a single leg for a takedown, nearly turning Thomusseit in the process. With the Panther able to fight off back points but call for injury time, Ruth chose neutral and then took the Panther down again to lead 4-0 after one. Ruth chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 6-0 lead with well over 1:00 in riding time. The Loin worked for a cradle for the rest of the period and, while not turning the Panther, led 6-0 with 2:50 in time after two. Thomusseit chose down to start the third and Ruth quickly turned the Panther for three point and a near pin. Leading 9-0 with 1:25 on the clock, Ruth allowed Thomusseit to escaped and took him down again quickly. He then cut the Panther loose and added two more takedowns to roll to the 17-3 major with over 4:00 in riding time.
197: Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 197, met No. 2 Matt Wilps in the dual's marquee bout. Wilps connected first, using a single leg for a takedown and a 2-0 lead with 1:45 on the clock. Wright quickly escaped, cutting the lead to 2-1 and action resumed in the middle of the mat. Wright rolled through a single leg, gained control of Wilps for a takedown and then worked the Panther to his back, picking up the thrilling pin of the second-ranked Panther at the 2:43 mark.
285: Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) met No. 8 Zac Thomusseit at heavyweight and scored early, roaring through a high double to lead 2-0 early. But Thomusseit quickly countered, tying the bout at 2-2 with a reversal. Lawson escaped to lead by one and action resumed in the middle of the mat. Neither wrestler was able to break through for any scoring over the final minute-plus and Lawson led 3-2 after the opening stanza. Thomusseit chose down to start the second and quickly escaped to a 3-3 tie. Thomusseit tried to connect on a double leg and Lawson pushed the shot off to keep the bout tied with :40 on the clock. Thomusseit was able to connect on a single leg with :20 left and, after a ride out, led 5-3 heading to the final period. Lawson chose down to start the third period but Thomusseit was able to break the Lion down and keep control of the action. Lawson rolled through for a near reversal but did manage the escape before action moved out of bounds with 1:10 left and Lawson down 5-4. Lawson shot in on a high double but the ranked Panther was able to play defense for the rest of the bout and escaped with a 5-4 win. Penn State was deducted a team point after the bout when Lawson through his head gear in frustration.